On Sunday I made applesauce. 15 quarts of applesauce. Not bad for my first time, and every jar sealed! :)
I borrowed a water bath canner from a friend and picked up some local apples from a farm stand. I also decided to invest in an apple peeler/corer/slicer. I have seen them as high as $40, but I got mine at Farm & Fleet for $20. That contraption is fun to use, in fact, Ashley and Jackie did quite a bit of the work for me because they were having so much fun processing the apples.
In 15 quarts of applesauce, I only used 2 cups of sugar, 3.5 Tablesppons of cinnamon and a 1/2 bushel of apples, along with a little water. I read the label on store purchased applesauce and the ingredients were: apples, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, acid to preserve color and water. Mine is so much healthier and it tastes so much better. In fact, it is so good that I took Ashley and Jackie out to Eplegaarden later in the day to get another 1/2 bushel of apples. It was only Jackie's 2nd time picking apples, so the girls had fun. I have yet to use the apples, but I'd like to try to get it done tonight.
I have wanted to try canning and preserving for years, but have been afraid to do it. I started last year by doing freezer jam. It was a piece of cake. I made the freezer jam again this year and now the applesauce. I am going to try water bath canning some other foods (there are not too many options with this method of canning) and next year I'm going to take the leap and try pressure canning. I would love to have a pantry full of home canned veggies, fruits, soups and meat. I love the idea of knowing exactly what is in the jar and exactly what was used in the preserving process. I'm excited to learn more!