Yesterday my friend J came over to
Since I had a plethora of apples, we made a batch of apple butter. Never having made it, I wanted to start right away on it because I kept hearing about how long it takes to cook down. I don't know why, but by the time the apples were mushy, the sauce was so thick, I was afraid to cook it down any more. I'm not sure if these apples were loaded in pectin, or if they were not really juicy, or what. Anyway, it didn't take forever, rather about 20 minutes, and before I knew it, we had incredible, trying not to lick up the spills with my tongue in front of J, apple butter.
I had always suspected that canning was easier with two, and it was. We had quite the dance going with me filling the jars and getting the headspace right, and J getting out the bubbles, wiping the rims, putting on the lids, and then back to me to put the jar in the canner. Of course all the prep went faster, too. J peeled all the apples while I quartered and cored them, and dumped them into the pot.
While the apple butter was bubbling away, J and I started on relish with the four pounds of too-big-for-pickles cukes from the garden. Of course dopey me didn't read that the relish had to sit in salt for four hours. But J was here for all the hard work, which is paring the cukes, and chopping everything up. Note the perfectly uniform pieces of cucumber (J's work) and the sloppily chopped red and green peppers (courtesy of moi). I wound up canning the lot at 8pm, and my wonderful hubby did up all the dishes (thanks, honey)!
So now I need to get the jars of relish to J, although there's really no rush on them since they should probably "pickle" for about a month anyway. If the tastes I had yesterday were any indication, it should turn out great, too. Big thanks to J for coming over and slaving away on a Sunday afternoon!