The summer is in full swing, even up here in the Pacific-very-North-West. We do get the odd days of rain, but mostly it’s sunny and warm. That means the greens are growing and the fruit is getting ripe.
We live right smack in between two empty fields. Which makes weeding blackberry brambles pretty much a full time occupation in our yard. But in summer we are glad we have the huge bushes to our left and right. It makes it possible for us to have blackberry preserves without having to go buy them, or hike into the sticks to get them. Yesterday, my daughter went to go harvest a few and we had blackberry pie. (sorry, no photos.. it was gone too fast)
She also brought in some apples from our tree. It did not bloom quite as exuberant as last year, but there are still a number of apples more to take care of than we usually know what to do with. (We share with the neighbor and this year we are contemplating to let the local Food bank gleaners get the majority of them.)
The apples my daughter brought in yesterday were posthaste made into apple butter! YUM! (Well… it wasn’t too fast, since I made it in the slow-cooker.)
If you want to make your own apple butter, here is what we did:
- About a pound of apples (we took about 6 medium sized apples, some were nice and ripe and some were still a bit tart. You want to make sure to have a good mix of both)
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon, 4-5 cloves, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (we have ready ground cinnamon at hand and have whole cloves and nutmeg to grind when needed. I ground the nutmeg, but left the cloves whole)
- Optional: 1tsp lavender and rose petals each (from our yard, so I know they are not treated with anything)
- 2 cups of sugar (you can do a blend of white and brown, or use a bit of agave sweetener,, or honey if you don’t want all that sugar. I use what I have on hand, so this last time it was two cups of white sugar.)
- Slow cooker
Peel, core and dice the apples into bite size pieces, place in the slow cooker, add the sugar and spices and optional ingredients and stir. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Turn slow cooker to high and let cook for a few hours, stirring now and again. When the apples start to break apart on their own, it’s nearly done (this takes about 3-4 hours, depending on how small you cut your apple bits). This is when you turn the slow cooker down to low and let it simmer for another two hours. Turn slow cooker off and let the whole thing cool over night. Stir well the next morning, then put the whole thing in a blender (you can fish out the cloves now if you like, or leave them in). Blend until the whole thing is pureed and then fill it in glasses. You can now proceed with canning the apple butter, or freeze it. If you just stick it in the fridge as is, you may want to eat it within a relatively short while.
Presto! Not that hard and not that much washing up either. It’s a one pot job lol.
In knitting news: I have made a pair of socks for my daughter’s birthday. (I also have knitted other things, but can’t show them right now, since it is a birthday present as well)
I am also working on a custom order crochet blanket. BRIGHT colours and fun! Pictures of the finished project fur sure, but here is one of half the colours for now. The customer picked them all. Aren’t they FUN?