This past weekend, Jamey's parents drove down to our house in their
In addition to the broccoli, they brought one basket of Gala apples for eating and 8 bushels of Cortland apples for saucing. All these apples came from an Amish orchard near their house. The Cortlands were $12 a bushel and beautiful.
Let me pause here and tell you a little story. When I was figuring out how many jars and containers we would need for the applesauce (I knew we needed to can some this year since our freezers were running out of room), I was planning on each basket yielding about 8 quarts of applesauce, approximately. This meant that 16 baskets should yield about 128 quarts. I had 80 jars washed and ready and figured out I had room in our chest freezer for 45 quarts, totaling 125 quarts. I assumed the rest we could store in the fridge and eat right away. Our family goes through apple sauce like nobody's business.
Once Jamey's parents were here, his mother mentioned that when she helped his sister put up 4 baskets the week before, it yielded 54 quarts. Excuse me. What?! That meant each basked yielded 13.5 quarts. A bit different than 8 quarts per basket.
We determined that their "baskets" were different from our "baskets" and that we were looking at a lot more applesauce than we initially expected. Thankfully, the end result landed somewhere between our estimations and their estimations.
Another thing they brought in that magic truck of theirs was an outdoor canner fully equipped with stand and propane burner. It held 15 quart jars and freed up all my stove top burner space for pots cooking the apples. They use this giant pot for blanching corn before they freeze it. They freeze a lot of corn.
We started at 8 in the morning and all fell into our preferred stations. Jamey's mom washed and cut apples. Jamey's dad manned the strainer (a.k.a. Victoria, a.k.a. Squeezo), Jamey worked the outdoor canner and kept an eye on the pots of cooking apples and I filled jars and containers, heated lids, and helped watch the stove and wash a few apples when I was caught up. It was quite a feat to keep up with Jamey's dad. He's got some serious skills when it comes to efficient turning and straining.
The kids helped turn the strainer, wash apples and play with Miriam. We took an hour break for lunch and by 4 in the afternoon, the dishes were washed and put away and the floor was mopped. I could not believe it.
We let the containers cool on the dining room table before lidding them. After the jars came out of the canner, we let them sit outside to cool, covered with towels so they wouldn't cool too quickly. As they cooled, we transferred them to wooden crates since they all didn't fit on the table below. We let them out overnight to make sure they cooled all the way. Jamey put in new motion-sensor lights at the back of the house to make sure no one got it in their head that they could come steal our applesauce. Seriously. He did.
Our grand total? 103 quart jars canned (only two jars did not seal) and 77 quarts frozen. All but 15 quarts fit in the freezer and pantry (with some re-organization). Grand total? 180 quarts. I still cannot believe we made that much applesauce. The most we've made in the past was 144 quarts. This is more than that. Can you tell I'm still in shock?
We owe a HUGE thank you to Jamey's parents. Not only did they deliver our apples to us, but they worked like crazy to help us get the applesauce made. We appreciate their willingness to help so much. And you all wonder where we get our work ethic...:-).
Jamey figured we need to eat 3 and a half quarts of applesauce a week this year. Knowing my children, it will not be a problem. And, in case you're wondering, Cortland apples are incredibly sweet, so we do not add any sugar. Also, "Red" Cortland apples make a lovely pink applesauce. We could only get regular Cortlands this year. We colored some of it with red raspberries and this is why some of the sauce is pink.
Make applesauce. Check. I love checking things off. Pin It