Monday, September 17, 2012

The Great Crabapple Harvest - Apple Butter Edition

Well that was a dangerous little adventure!

Having never made apple butter before, I had no idea that when trying to bring the apple pulp to a boil it actually turns in to a spitting, hissing pot of molten lava. I burned my hand (not serious) and almost got some in my eye (considering safety glasses in the kitchen now). Also, having never made apple butter before, I had no idea what it was supposed to look like or how it was supposed to "behave". I just followed the recipe and will hope for the best. It just looks like applesauce to me (which I suppose it is). I still have some apple pulp left... not sure if I want to brave the lava again or if I'll just sweeten it a little and freeze it for apple sauce. My Mom used to make crabapple sauce when we were kids and I like the tartness of it.

The Great Crabapple Harvest

I haven't done a lot of canning the past few years. There was that brief teaching experience last year, when I taught my boyfriend how to can oranges and make marmalade, but other than that it's been quite some time.

So, when I was visiting my Mom and saw her tree drooping under the wait of all those red apples I knew I had to get to work this year! We picked 3 large, reusable shopping bags full (this is only two, but, trust me, there was a third):

Out of the first bag I got 13 half pints and 3 other jars (not sure of the size) of jelly:

I don't think there is anything prettier than jars of crabapple jelly in the sun!

My plans for the rest of the first bag are for crabapple butter. I've never made it before, so it will be a new experience. I'm also looking for new recipes to try with the other two bags. I'm going to try some spiced whole apples, some chutney and some liqueur. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Funny How Life Changes

Still no Internet access at home, yet home is where I get all my ideas of what to write. By the time I get to the library my ideas are gone! Guess I better get some of that old fashioned paper stuff and start writing them down...

It's been a busy month. My spinning classes are almost done and my results have improved dramatically!!
It's hard to tell in a picture, but the spindle on the bottom is actually quite full and I will need to wind off soon so that I can fill it again and they learn how to ply. I hate the spindle on the top... it's too light & doesn't spin well. You can't see it in the picture really, but I'm having a really hard time getting a consistent product on that spindle.

I also started my new journal for the year and got out some of my mixed media supplies:

It's been a long time since I played with paint and it was really fun. I need to make sure that I set up a painting area in my studio... whenever I get that done!

Other than the artsy things going on in life... I've just been out there enjoying LIFE!!

Just spent the weekend meeting fantastic people both in Calgary and in Canmore. Went out to Canmore Saturday night to hear Donald Ray Johnson perform. What a great show! The dance floor was packed all night. I haven't danced for 4 hours in heels for a very long time and my calves hurt the next day to prove it! Good thing we were at Aimee's family condo and were able to enjoy the hot tub and steam room to recover a little. It was great to just hang out with the girls and have some honest girl-talk time as well as to let loose and have some fun!

It's amazing how, when you stop worrying so much about what other people think of you and where you belong, your world starts to open up and new and fascinating people just find their way to you. Two months ago I would have never been hanging out with artists, activists and people who live in sheds behind dome houses. I would have missed out on all of these opportunities to meet people who know who they are & aren't afraid to show it. And I would have NEVER let Theresa record me singing on her podcast (whether or not she was actually going to upload it).

Life is taking an interesting turn these days...