Wednesday, September 30, 2009

the Fair

It's almost a month since "the great Minnesota get-together" ended, but I had to post some pictures anyway. Jeremy and I spent almost a whole day at the fair looking at chickens and other animals, eating our way through crepes, ice cream cones, mini-donuts (nothing on a stick!) and other goodies.

We saw lots of crazy chickens...



and the truly Minnesotan "Princess Kay." There is a court of 12 young women picked every year to be state fair princesses I guess. One is chosen to be Princess Kay - but they all sit in this 45 degree refrigerator for hours while their likeness is carved into a huge block of butter. Truly Minnesotan.

Friday, September 25, 2009

apples, apples, apples!

I'm back!! Our new computer was just delivered and it is blazing fast! I can have more than one program open at a time! It downloads pictures from my camera in seconds! (Thanks to our friend Luis!) I could go on, but what I've been dying to do for weeks is post about what we've been up to. It will be a trip back through time (over the next many days) but I'll start with what we've been up to for the last couple days: apples.

On Wednesday Jeremy picked a TON of apples. We didn't weigh them, but we're thinking maybe around 50 pounds. They were from two trees at a friend's house.

So we got to work coring and peeling and coring and peeling TONS of apples

We put them in a big pot to cook...

(Note: don't actually put this many apples in a pot to cook 'cause it's really hard to stir and you might burn your batch of apples)

Cook, cook, cook, simmer, simmer, add some cinnamon, cloves, and a little brown sugar.

Here is just some of the applesauce we made (after a spin through the blender):

We've been making applesauce since yesterday and have 18 pints of it so far. We might make some more tomorrow. I also made an apple pie this evening:

We ran a LOT of apples (and apple cores) through the juicer to make apple juice. We've got 10 quarts of apple juice.

It was a big apple day for us: applesauce, apple juice, and apple pie! And on top of that, Jeremy made a fantastic dinner, a ragout bolognaise (a sauce made of onions, garlic, celery, ground pork, tomatoes, green peppers, white wine, and heavy cream) over whole wheat pasta - my man takes care of me!

It's amazing that I wanted to have anything to do with apples after Wednesday. A friend from Meeting came over with several buckets of crab apples and some elderberries. He wanted to learn how to make jelly. Some of those crab apples were the size of cherries, they were so tiny!

Here's Charlie juicing elderberries and getting ready to juice more apples.

I wouldn't be surprised if elderberries could be used as a natural die, the colors were so fantastic.

We came out with 16 teeny tiny jars of apple jelly and elderberry jelly and I sent Charlie home with the rest of the juice to make even more!

We have about two dozen of our own apples left and we're debating what to do with them. More applesauce? Give them away? More apple juice? More apple pie or apple dumplings? I'm sure we'll think of something, but hopefully something easy since we're supposed to pick up a large box of red bell peppers tomorrow from our friends at Loon. (Those are for roasting and freezing.) And Jeremy has a stack of eggplants in the fridge he wants to make eggplant chutney out of. Tis the season!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why so silent?

Greetings loyal followers and random passersby. You're probably wondering why it has been so silent around here. It's not for lack of work around the house - believe me, there are a ton of things going on! I figure I've got enough for two weeks of posts about all the different things we're up to.

Alas, the one thing not working around here is our computer. It can manage one application at a time, sometimes two. But it just can't handle pictures anymore. And we have to forcibly restart it several times a day to kick-start its brains.

So you've been missing out on our trip to the state fair, making ketchup, work in the rain garden, tons of scraping and painting, sewing, building our new root cellar, and more! But never fear, we'll be getting a new computer soon and you'll have blog-posts coming out your ears! So stay tuned...