Apple Fest 2012: Apple Scrap Jelly

Have you ever peeled apples for a recipe and immediately felt guilty about wasting all of the scraps?

No? Then you’re normal! Yay, for you! I, on the other hand, was born with quite the guilt complex. When I was little, I used to feel bad for the toys that I wasn’t playing with and would quickly run over to them to apologize for leaving them out of the fun (this was probably due, in part, to this 1986 Christmas movie by Jim Henson that led me to believe my toys were alive). Continue reading

Apple Fest 2012: Apple Butter

Apple Butter is a thick, spreadable, concentrated form of applesauce that has been enjoyed by people since Colonial times. Traditionally, large quantities of Apple Butter were cooked in copper kettles over an outdoor fire. The Apple Butter had to constantly be stirred and turned with a wooden paddle to prevent it from scorching. Continue reading

Canning Tomato Sauce

I did it. I finally canned homemade tomato sauce (go ahead, yawn and roll your eyes – my husband is!). However, I feel excited and proud and I’m going to write about it anyway!

I’m even going to say that it was simple, and how have I never done this before? Fifteen jars of organic tomato sauce are now sitting on a shelf ready to be consumed (or given away as gifts) this winter!

The cost? One day and $26.00.  Continue reading

Soured Cucumbers

Okay, I’ll admit it: I used to be a very picky eater.

I scrutinized meat before taking a bite, I was wary of vegetables and dishes with chunks, and I hated condiments (except for ketchup). And one time, I did put broccoli down my shirt instead of in my mouth when my Mom told me that I couldn’t leave the table without eating it. It felt disgusting.

Meet the new and improved, grown-up Melissa. The one who doesn’t gag anymore when she smells mustard. Well, most of the time . . . and, I do eat and enjoy tons of vegetables now (thank goodness for gardening, grilling and roasting!). I can credit this change in my palette to one specific dish that made me feel more brave about trying new foods. The year was 2002 and it was just a few months before college graduation. Continue reading