Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Can "Can!"

My Grandma and my Grandpa
Last Sunday I taught myself to can.  No one in my family canned and I don’t know why.  I think growing up in California where fruit is abundant is the only reason that I can come up with.  My grandmother would make a bunch of apple pies at once and then freeze them.  Here was the reasoning that my mother told me, you only have to make a really big mess in your kitchen only once. 

So while living in The Netherlands I only saw canning supplies at a very few stores and they were in the specialized kitchen stores only.  The Dutch are seasonal eaters, they eat what’s in season and that’s it. I actually liked that because I would look forward to white asparagus in the spring, split pea soup in the winter.  The Swiss seem to be different.  I can find canning supplies everywhere here.  One of the grocery stores even had the supplies right next to the fruit and vegetables. Which tells me that the Swiss like to can. 

I thought that I said something last year about my Grandmother’s apple pies and that she made hers with Gravenstein apples (I can’t find it, so I guess I didn’t).   She swore that they made the best pies, but doesn’t every grandmother say that about their favorite apples?  Gravenstein apples are grown in the Sonoma area of California; my grandmother lived close to Sonoma hence the reason why she loved the Gravenstein apples. When we moved to North Carolina in the late 1990’s, I couldn’t find Gravenstein apples.  I was heart broken but I thought,c'est la vie … something to look forward to when and if I ever get back to San Francisco after this journey with The Shaker.  When we moved to The Netherlands they didn’t have them either.  But last fall, I walked into my local grocery (The Coop), 1 block down from our apartment, 150 - 200 meters easily and there they were … Gravenstein apples!  I was over enjoyed and possibly even did a little happy dance right there in the Coop!

So this year I thought I am going to try my hand at canning.  Do you know how easy this is?  I am actually embarrassed at the simplicity of canning. I used 2 links in my method:  The canning link and the recipe link, from Mommy's Kitchen.  But the jars that I bought came with directions as well – in English, no less.  On the recipe link I cut most of the sugar out; I went from 4-1/2 cups down to 2 cups.  Also, the recipe link I have provided, I am not baking an apple pie with my jars.  I wanted to eat mine either right out of the jar (figuratively not literally) or with vanilla ice cream.

My apple pie filling

My whole set up

The finished product

The Martini Knitter

1 comment:

sandy said...

I've canned, but it's been a good number of years ago. Made apple sauce from the apple tree we used to have. Made apple butter too, which was a hit. I canned tomatoes which is wayyyyyyyyy to much work. I made and canned a pickle relish thing that had onions and summer squash. Loved it, but again lots of work, was a multi-day project with the need to brine etc. Then I got into dehydrated goodies instead of canning which was much easier. After doing that a few years I decided I liked the grocery store and also I no longer have a veggie garden. There's only so much time in the day. Working, knitting, blogging, my charity....YOur apples look yummy!