Yes, I Can

Funny play on words, don't you think? Well, after all I do spend my days trying to teach students how to become writers. First of all, we picked the apples off my tree, and then we picked some more and then we kept picking. Three huge boxes and seven plastic grocery sacks later most were off the tree. This is only a small amount of the total number! Luckily, my son Nicholas and his wife Laura bought me this groovy gadget for peeling and slicing apples, one of the coolest tools ever. You can buy them at CalRanch, Walmart and most other big box stores. They can also be found on line. Cost is about $20.

After peeling, we cut out any bad spots and put them in water containing lemon juice so they wouldn't turn brown. Our first batches were bottled for use in pies. Here is the recipe. 6 cups sugar, 2 tsp. salt, 6 tablespoons lemon juice, 10 cups water, 4 tsp. cinnamon 1 tablespoon nutmeg. Place all these ingredients in a large pan and bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Pack apples tightly into jars and then use a funnel to pour enough juice so that there is only about 1/2" space at the top of the jar. Clean around the top of jar with a warm clean rag and then place lid on jar. Do this until you have enough for your water bath.  
 Bottles need to process for 20 minutes. And then take out using the jar grabber thingy and place on a towel. If they haven't already sealed they will as they cool down. Little tip: my mom used to set her warm iron on top of lids that didn't seal and it really did work to seal them. Ahhhhh so many apples and so little time. Oh course, we are not done, but, we also put apples into the Vitamix blender and pureed them. Then, we poured the liquid through cheese cloth and squeezed all the juice out and that made apple juice. It was delicious!!!
  We put a little cinnamon and nutmeg in our juice and then bottled it the same as the apples. If you are going to can try to do it with family or friends; much faster and so much fun to talk and laugh together. Oh yes, I must add one gratuitous granddaughter picture. She LOVED the apples as long as they were peeled first.

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