Over the Labor Day weekend, we did a little apple picking. Now, we had every intention of going to Lynd's farm, paying someone else for our hard work, then heading home to make apple butter and sauce. Well, T's dad pretty much told us we were idiots, and that there is an old man down the road from their house that will let you have apples from his defunct orchard for free. Just ask. So we did.
The orchard is huge, and it's pretty sad that it's in such a poor state. No kidding, this place is a little wild and overgrown and there's a lot of stickers and possibly poison ivy, and a lot of the apples are wormy - BUT, we still managed to pick a ton that were perfectly fine.
See, they're fine! Maybe not the Miss America of apples, but still completely fine for our purposes. And totally FREE!
While we were making apple butter, I had plans to make apple cinnamon syrup, so I washed up practically every jar in the house. There's something so satisfying about clean jars in the sunlight, waiting to be filled up and stored away.
So the apple butter was the crock pot method (since buying a copper kettle would probably mean opening up an equity line). And this was what it looked like starting out. Apples, cinnamon, clove and about a half ton of sugar. Delicious!
This is about 5-6 hours of cooking. Starting to break down and actually look like something. Let me tell you our house smelled like autumn heaven!
And this is the next day. Three crocks pot of apples cooked down for a looooong time. We mixed all the batches together for consistency, then canned, canned, canned.
And here's the end result! We got 18 jars of apple butter, and I did manage to squeeze in the syrup making too. Gosh I love those cut glass jars. Now, we still have possibly 15 pounds of apples left, so it looks like apple sauce needs to happen this weekend. Or we may have to invest in a cider press, it's hard to say.