Monday, October 8, 2007

Little Ms. Domestique

I finished quilting a Halloween quilt last night and wanted to get the binding on today, but so far, no luck! What have I been doing instead?

Well, this morning I did a whirlwind job of cleaning my house. I think I broke all known land speed records. Admittedly, with us gone for a few days, it wasn't too bad, but then dust is dust, and it waits for no man.

So, that done, I got my shopping list in order and did my grocery shopping. Once I got the groceries put away, I figured I'd start on my apple butter, chicken soup, and potato leek soup. In between, I'd make my binding. Of course, you already KNOW that didn't happen!

So I got the apple butter started--which starts off with boiling down apple cider and then adding a bunch of quartered apples. While those were cooking, I thought it would be a good time to catch up on everyone's blogs--I'm happy to say that I'm now caught up! Even if I didn't leave comments on each and every blog, I DID read them.

But here's a tip. Actually a couple tips.

1. Don't read blogs while cooking apples. Why? This is what happens:

2. Don't clean house before making apple butter. Why? See above.

And that photo doesn't even show the part where it boiled all down the front of the stove!

So, once the apples are all cooked, you press the whole mess though a strainer to get rid of the peels, seeds, etc. What a pain! After that, you put all the "pulp" back into a pot and add a bunch of sugar and spices and cook it for two hours, stirring almost constantly. WHAT? No way! Okay, so I cheated and didn't stir almost constantly. What I pretty much did was read a blog, go out and stir, read another blog, go out and stir. That went pretty well for the first hour or so, but then--

Well, read tip number 2 above. See what happened?

It's like making spaghetti sauce! It bubbles and bursts all over the place! Okay, so what's next? The directions say to cook it until it "sheets." I've made candy before and I'm familiar with sheeting, but this stuff is a much coarser texture than candy. I figured, though, that when it got to the "sheeting" point, I'd know. Eventually I got tired of testing it to see if I would consider it to be sheeting, so I just filled the jars I sterilized--nine of them. Bad news! Nine jars were filled and about two thirds of the apple butter is still in the pot. Needless to say, I'm sterilizing more jars. I'll be known as the apple butter queen! Everyone I know will be getting apple butter for Christmas! Well, unless that sheeting thing was important and I didn't wait long enough. In which case, I'll be known as the apple butter jester.

Oh, and those two soups? Nope, they're not done either. The chicken soup is about half done but I need to go cook some veggies in the broth and finish that up. The other soup, potato leek, will have to wait. And that binding? Well, maybe I'll get around to that once I clean my kitchen again.

From now on, I'm just BUYING apple butter. Except I won't need to for maybe ten years. I wonder if it's just like child birth--you forget the pain after awhile?


Sharon said...

The apple butter looks yummy Ms. Martha!! You did a great job. I was sort of wanting to see that soup though. I'll wait right here.............done yet????
Funny you talked about childbirth I did to on my blog tonight. LOL
Glad your home and your house is clean. Feels good doesnt it?

atet said...

The apple butter looks yummy -- but, well, there's a reason we buy ours once a year :0). Your trip sounds like it was divine! What a fun weekend getaway! As for the cleaning -- ya want to come over and help me dig out? :0)

Kairle said...

I hope I'm on your Christmas list! LOL!

Sometimes I wonder why we put ourselves through all this canning. I can't honestly believe that it's really that much cheaper after you buy the fruit, sugar, jars, etc., etc. And let's not even begin to think about what our time is worth! My girls say that LOVE is the special ingredient that you don't get from the store! :-)

Patty said...

Kind of like childbirth, huh?

Okay..gotta ask... what part was the sex???
(Hopefully not where you got bored and had to go read a blog every now and then!) ;-)

Darlene said...

This is exactly the reason I get my Apple Butter at the grocery store! LOL

Does look quite yummy though!

Eileen said...

So much for Mrs. Domenstiicy? (sp?)

Hope it is as good as it looks.

Bren said...

I have no idea what sheeting is, nor do I want to. What I do know is that store bought apple butter does not compare to homemade apple butter! I think the pain will be quickly forgotten!!

Quilt Mommy said...

Oooh looks really good!!! :) You know, a while back you posted about focus...losing your quilting focus? I'll tell you what Kim, I didn't get it then, but your post stuck in my mind all these weeks and I sure get it now! I have so many projects on my plate, and I don't love even one of them. I am glad I found your blog - I love your taste in quilts and you're incredibly inspiring for me! :)

Teresa said...

I agree with Bren. Homemade (well, good homemade) is so much more incredible than the store bought. But then maybe it's only a distorted memory of my childhood that keeps me thinking of that sticky sweet treat smeared on bread.

Su Bee said...

ROFL - OK, so you're not not the perfect domestic goddess, you have other charms!
You sent me right back to 1979 and my first/last shot at apple butter. came out much the same!!

mar said...

Looks like a lot of work to me! You were sweatin for apple butter and not binding? I guess it's all about the priorities. Enjoy!

Nan said...

What a lot of work!! My mouth is watering, though. Yummy!! If you were Martha, you'd make the mess and then someone else would come and clean it up, right? I'd clean up your kitchen for a couple of jars of apple butter!!

Vicky said...

Wow, does that bring back memories! No, no, no, I wouldn't dare try apple butter, but my dad did and it was wonderful.

Your jars look great! So how many did you end up with? LOL

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

That looks yummy!! And I wouldn't stir constantly either...we have lives!!
Love your Halloween quilt, when is that? Tracey