Saturday, September 07, 2013

Summer Bounty

"Make hay while the sun shines." Or so the old saying goes. 

With the bounty of summer in full production, we found our hands quite full when we arrived home for a very quick stop before hitting the road again. But what a blessing! Our gardens have been extra-productive this year, causing a flurry of activity every time the bus pulls into our Milford address. 

This time it was apples. And tomatoes. And peppers. In amazing abundance!

Thankfully, some wonderful friends jumped in to provide reinforcements and here's the story of our day: 

We started with a visit to the apple trees, picking bushel after bushel of the delicious fruit.

Can you smell the summer sweetness?!! 

And the process begins: washing

Cutting them in sections and removing the seeds.

Ready for cooking!

Alaythia kept the dehydrator going, making dried apple treats. 

Sunny smiles

We cooked the apples in large roasters as the kitchen stove was busy with other projects (see below).

Once they were cooked, we ran them through the applesauce maker.

And scooped the sauce into jars. 

Yes....still cutting!

 Taking a little break

The fun is doubled with friends!

The men at work.

And finally, we processed the applesauce with a water-bath and set them out to cool.  

In the meantime, another crew was busy at work in the tomato department! 

Our tomatoes have been producing over-time, providing us with large, bug-free fruit!

The tomato crew at work.

All in all, we canned 250 quarts of applesauce
and 40 quarts of tomatoes. 

All in a day's [fun] work?!

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord 
for He is good. 
For His mercy endures forever."
2 Chron. 16:34


Carrie Bryson said...

Wow - and we thought we were doing well canning 76 jars of a variety of things this week .... good job Wissmanns! (and friends) Our men never seem to be around when we can, however .... =) Praise God from Whom all blessings flow .... we have some pretty photos up too on my FB page.

Kristi said...

What kind of water bath did you use? I can hardly fathom making that much in one day - 14 quarts is the most I've managed, but that's with just me working on it.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!Great job!Obviously a lot of hard work(& fun:)You guys are great workers:)

AmyG said...

I'm curious what you used to water-bath that many quarts of applesauce, too. Well done, Wissmans!

Amanda said...

Yikes! That's a huge amount of applesauce! I'm sure its DELICIOUS! Looks just like what we do with apples...and tomatoes. :)

Rachel Busenitz said...

Kristi and AmyG --

I wasn't there first-hand, but according to my sisters, they had 3 stand-alone propane burners which they set up outside. They could rotate through 21 quarts at a time (7 per burner).

And yes -- Kristi, I can relate. Now that I'm down in Kansas doing the canning by myself it takes SO much longer!! :P

Talitha said...

Oh my goodness, long days of canning sounds quite familiar. ;) We also usually get most of the family on board and the work goes so much faster and is, of course, much more fun.

Alicia said...

Wow that is amazing. We love canned food but what you all did together is wonderful. Enjoy.

Sarah said...

We just spent all day yesterday processing apples into apple sauce just as you did! Roasters and all :) We did not come near your whopping 250 though - Our apple season is barely started in MI! It will really hit in the next couple weeks, then we will be thinking of the Wissmanns and all the canning they did. :)
I can't believe you guys got all that done in one day! Tomorrow is our tomato day...salsa...and all! :)
Thanks for sharing that fun post, its fun to see others doing the same thing with so much garden produce!

The K. Family said...

Wow! That must have been one long day. We also make applesauce like you do, but the applesauce maker that removes the skins also removes the seeds, so we let the machine or whatever you call it remove them for us. Just a suggestion that might make it go faster.

Caravan Sonnet said...

WOW! What a bounty!! Great job y'all!
:) Rebecca

Lydia said...

We have that exact same "masher"! We used it for applesauce and "peachsauce" (really it was runny jelly, b/c we tried to use a substitute thickener and it didn't work.)