Weekend Part 2: Homemade Fruit Butters

in Engage the weekend28 days ago

Hi fellow Hiveians,

This past weekend, I decided to continue the endeavor to can more of our foods! I haven't posted our other massive haul of canning but should hopefully be able to get to that sometime soon! Work has been significantly busier for me lately so I haven't been getting to post or talk with people as often as I would like. No real complaints though, since I'm still working! Let's get into some fun DIY food prep.

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Stuffing Our Cheeks (Cabinets)

One of the things we have thankfully started to do as a family is try to conserve more of the delicious fresh food we get throughout the growing and picking seasons. We started this a bit last year since we want to eat fresher foods longer but it really kicked off this year, for obvious reasons.

One of the groups of foods I personally started with was these pears! I personally am not a real big fan of fresh pairs, I don't like the feel of the skin or the texture that it leaves when you are eating it. That being said though, we have received quite a few of them through our CSA (Community Shared Agriculture, look it up if you don't know what it is! It's a FANTASTIC way to eat and support local businesses) that I didn't want to go to waste!

I had to obviously prep them so that meant washing and getting them all nice and clean.

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Once they were all chopped up, it was time for the pressure cooker! One thing I have to say, my adult life has been seriously lacking for kitchen utensils like the pressure cooker here! It is perhaps one of the most important pieces of hardware we bought! It's so versatile and easy to use, you just have to be very careful to keep it clean! A dirty and clogged pressure cooker can lead to awful things like explosions so it goes without saying that we need to keep them clean and safely operating.

The recipe I had for this particular batch was great and very basic. It was a bunch of pears (this one called for a few pounds but I have no idea how much I had)

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of sugar (I personally used half a cup, no need for lots of sugar!)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (I gave this one a bit more heft to it since I love cinnamon!)

Put all the delicious stuff in the pressure cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes.

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Once it's cooked the 30 minutes, quick release it and you fill the house with such a fantastic smell! It's lots of sugars from the fruit and the aroma of the great spices all floating around for hours after it's done cooking.

At this point we need to let the stuff cool off some water so we are going to turn the cooker on sauté for 20 minutes. I don’t know about anyone else’s pressure cooker but ours was cranking this stuff so I had to stir it every 1 or 2 minutes to prevent it from burning. Good thing I kept an eye on it!

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After the stuff cooks down some water we are going to use the immersion blender to really chop it up into the purée it needs to be. Thankfully the immersion blender we have is really good at not spraying stuff all over the place, I was nervous I was going to get boiling hot sugar stuff on my skin and melt it off! Once you blend it, put it back on sauté for another 10 minutes. This last few minutes I was constantly stirring it because it was getting very thick.

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The finished pear product! It’s not too bad considering I don’t really like pears, so I was pleased I could turn it into something like this.

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Johnny Appleseed

Now it was time for the apples! With these I used the same exact recipe but I had more apples so I used more stuff.

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If you're like me, seeing a bunch of apples cut up and about to get cooked with some cinnamon, there isn't much that's better than that in the fall time! I absolutely love applies with cinnamon added to it. Such a delicious smell and flavor.

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This batch, versus the pears, produced a significant amount more volume of the good stuff. Apples have more water perhaps, but I also did have a lot more apples than I did pears so that also needs to be factored in. This was the final product, smelling fantastic and ready to can!

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So the last thing left to do was to can it! I waited until both batches were done, the pears and the apples, before I canned it. I wanted to just do it all at once! Thankfully the recipe called for lemon juice already in it, so I'm really hoping that they don't go bad in a couple weeks and I can enjoy it in the middle of the winter.

As you can see, the apple batch made a pretty good amount! That's 4 jars there with a small container left over of the stuff for the fridge. The pear produced just one but that's okay, I did eat a fair amount of it before it even made it to the jar hehe.

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Whatcha Preserving?

Have you tried preserving anything like this? I'd love to learn some lessons from others as to what works! Given this is our first real fore

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Wow, I didn't know you were into cooking. My mom used to can jams and jellies. But my favorite was APPLE BUTTER. OMG. This is the best thing in the world. Since I was the dishwasher in the family, I got sick of washing those mason jars. They were inexpensive back then, and we used to buy them by the case. My mom would make preserves for the entire neighborhood if they brought her the fruit. Peaches, Pears, Figs. Oh, I forgot to mention those figs. Not only was fig absolutely the best preserve, she used the white milky part of the stem to cure our ringworm. Sorry to talk about ringworm during cooking conversation.

It's really neat to prepare your own fresh canned fruits. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Yeah my wife and I are trying to learn and bring back some of the things our families used to do many years ago! There’s a lot of fun to have doing it and you get to connect, I think, with food the way we should be doing. Going to the store and buying the stuff is easy but then there’s all kinds of other stuff in it you don’t want. I’m surprised it’s taken us this long to do it, we’ve done lots of things on our own but making our own preserves and sauces hasn’t been one until now. Better late than never!

We ended up getting a bunch of mason jar cases at just the right time. We got 2 cases of the 32 ounce wide mouth ones and some small ones. When we tried to look for more everything within a 35 mile radius of our place was completely sold out! We got lucky and found some tractor stores that had some and a local hardware store. I’m still working on putting it together but we turned about 700 pounds of tomatoes into homemade sauce!

Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman! I think eventually we would do the same with our neighbors and friends. It’s a good way to connect with them and pass the time, I think! Then you can share the joy of homemade stuff. The homemade fig stuff sounds great! I love figs but I don’t know what to do with them half the time. Using the stem in that way goes to show how we need to get back to those roots in many ways, so we can do things that nature provides us all along!

Appreciate the great comment, thank you!
!ENGAGE 25

So many skills and traditions are lost these days as the new generations feel they are unimportant or they have a lack of time. I guess pre-prepared foods (meals) from the supermarket don't help either. It's sad really, but that's progress for you. It's good you're finding your mojo in this regard and E will benefit too, in time.

Yeah I mean growing up in my parents house the only thing they ever made homemade was tomato sauce but even that was from cans. I dated a girl who’s family made homemade pasta traditionally and it was great! I certainly hope to do that with our little family, some of the best memories are had doing things like that with friends and family.

There’s definitely also the time factor. It’s been a huge help that I’ve been working from home now so I’m able to be there right away to help. When the two of us are working on it the time to finish is cut tremendously.

I have a mate, just a little older than I am whose family holds to the old ways. They make wine, sausages, breads, pasta, sauces, olives and even cheese all in the old ways from Napoli. A lot of the produce they use is grown themselves. His parents immigrated in the early 1960's and the family is one of the few I know who uphold traditions. It's always a great night to go over there and make wood oven pizza with them all...It's loud, very social and always tasty.

Ah damn that sounds like such wonderful memories! I hope the family keeps that up as long as possible, that makes me really happy to hear that!

Yeah they are a pretty cool family...I just hope the two kids (adults now) take it on...I don't know if both will but the parents are pushing for it, involving them. We'll see.

Yeah I definitely hope they will do it, that’s one of the tough things. My older generation did the stuff but my parents never bothered for the most part.

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My mom too. Canned and made a little apple butter each year. We had cows, so we had fresh butter every Saturday. But apple butter was a special treat.

God! That looks delicious! You have no idea of how many years I have without eating pears 😔. About the apples: that's my forever favorite fruit, and I can't eat it as much as i'd like to, so... Would you send me one of those cans? hahaha.

My mother and I usually make guava jam and pomalaca in syrup (pomalaca is also called water apple. But it is still not apple).

GUAVAS:

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POMALACAS:

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To make the guava jam, first we chop it into medium pieces and blend it and then cook the juice over medium heat with lots of sugar. (We love sugar. That's the secret of my sweetness, hahaha)

Regarding the pomalacas in syrup, we also chop it into medium pieces and then cook it over low heat with a little water and a lot of sugar. (I do need a lot of sugar. In fact, when I was little I ate it hidden from my parents, hahaha (they scolded me enough, just in case))

Hahah that must be why you’re sweet 😛🤣.

Those recipes sound great! Then again if you add lots of sugar a lot of things would taste great lol.

Apples are one of my favorite fruits from sure. The variety that is my favorite is called McIntosh. They are very crisp, meaning when you bite into them it’s a really big snap and I love how they are tart. I’m not a huge fan of sweet apples. The tart ones make really good baking stuff like this so it’s more reason for me!

I appreciate you stopping sharing by and sharing these lovely memories! It’s the best to do these things with our parents. My mom never really did this with us so we are trying to change that with our son. Some of the best memories I have are making food with my really old Italian aunt, it’s a lot of fun being in the kitchen!

!ENGAGE 25

Hahaha! Yep, that the reason! 😁

OMG! These ones should be delicious 😋

That's fantastic, You made things with your son.

So, You know how to make lasagna?? 😁

I love guava jam!

That is all. :)

Hehehe Me too! 😋
Don't remember if preparing guava Jam is in the list of the things you're good at 😁🙃

I'm good at everything in my life because I'm passionate about life.

That's really cool! 👍
You're great! 😁

I'm completely average and have never been great...Just passionate about life.

[strokes his big mustache as he types his reply] I just loved my mom's canned goods, they were really special. But my best mother in law made 'choke cherry syrup'. They'd spend a weekend with friends picking wild choke cherries and then make the syrup. Ohhhhhh it was heavenly on a Sunday morning.

[OMG] hahaha bigmustache 🙈😂

Jams are the best, no doubt.
😋
It's good that mothers know how to make them hehehe I think that if I do that, I would be distracted by singing and my jam would burn (that's what my mother says) 😁🙃
I would also collect many fruits to make jams... 👍
I hope one day to have a mother-in-law who will make me different memaladas.🙏

My mom made jams and jellies to die for. Her raspberry and blackberry were especially good. She strained them out of a pillow case hung in our working shower on the back porch of the farmhouse. Nobody minded missing a shower for the jelly that was coming. I still have the Aluminum bucket she used to catch the jelly.

On Saturday morning mom made bread. My brother and I churned fresh butter and when that bread came out of the oven it was so good with jam!

OMG 😍
This comment is like a dream.😋
I remembered an episode of my mom's favorite comic, Heidy, in which her grandfather gave Heidy a piece of freshly baked bread with cheese (which although it was a cartoon, it still looked delicious and made me hungry)😁
I want bread with jam, I'm starving. LOL😂

I'm glad you still have the Aluminum bucket she used to catch the jelly. It's lovely...💜

Good job
This delicious food 😭

Thanks, it is delicious I'm glad I was able to make it.

We were talking about this only earlier in the week. At the moment life is pretty hectic with my job and Faith business so we don't really have a lot of time for this sort of thing but moving forward we hope that will change a little and we can do more food preparation. Faith hates cooking, but it's more of a time thing than the actual cooking. Moving forward we'd like to do a lot more food preparation, make use of seasonal foods and prepare things ahead of time.

Yeah I’m glad we started to do it when we did because my wife’s business has really exploded recently. It’s one that was a little shaky for a bit but now that Rona is here it’s taken off which is surprising in some ways. She’s been waking up every day the past week to at least 10 orders lol can’t complain there!

It takes a bit of time to get all the stuff together but once you have it, it lasts a long time. I would try and get mason jars now if you could, that’s what has held us up the most as far as how much we’ve been able to do. After that, it’s just a few hours a night during the prime picking seasons and you’re all set. If you don’t have one, I would highly recommend a pressure cooker! These things are glorious for knocking down cook times by dozens of minutes to hours! One of the most versatile things we’ve ever bought. This fruit butter recipe would have been a pain doing it stove top.

The other gadget we will be getting at some point is a vacuum sealer but we don’t have room in our kitchen for anything else at the moment lol

We've got a few things on our plate at the moment and this sort of thing is going to have to take a back seat although we talk about it now and then, as a prepper I'm always talking about stuff like this, and I have no doubt that when things settle down a little we will start to get more active with it.

God to hear your wife's business is going well, corona chan will close so many around the world so a good news story is welcome.

Yeah with your mother in law’s health, this type of stuff absolutely takes a back seat to it.

She was thinking of quitting honestly, the time needed for the money she was making was not a good ratio but the last 30 days have been crazy so we will see how it goes. We’ve made enough money out of it to have it be worth it so now we are just seeing how things shake out. It could be great or it could just fail but either way we aren’t exposed financially so it’s not a bad position.

Seems like you have options which is a nice position to be in I think; You can react one way or the other depending on circumstance and need. Works well I'd say.

Our friend Soyrosa has a friend and the two of them get together once a month to cook. They make enough for 3 weeks for both of them (and their partners, of course). A pretty darn good idea. They enjoy the company for the day and end up with home made stuff to eat. Winner winner.

This what Faith and I were talking about, as part of our debt free deliberations. Being debt free will give us, among other things, time.

We were discussing how our lives might change and food preparation, how and where we shop due to having more time and about becoming more self-sufficient. We know people who make their own things, moisturiser, shampoo and conditioners, soap and foods to name a few...Having time will allow us to shop more intelligently, self-prepare ahead of time and learn new/develop existing skills. It's one of the big attractions to a more simple life.

Of all the things I miss in my life one near the very top of the list has to be my Mom's canned pears. When the local pears were in season we'd go buy a couple of boxes (50 lbs each) and she'd can almost every one. We had enough canned pears to have maybe 3 quarts a month for desert. Her peaches were spectacular too. Her sister always canned peaches with her and each of them would make up a 'special' quart for the county fair.

That's some great deep memories for me! Thank you.

Ah that’s awesome man, I’m glad you were able to reminisce about such a nice memory. That’s why I am trying to start these types of things so hopefully our son, someday will be able to look back fondly on it like this!

I would love to get those 50 pound boxes of peaches! I hate the skin of peaches but I love the taste of a nice ripe peach. I think in the past 2 years it’s the first time I’ve had a truly fresh peach from a local farm. I always used to just eat the junk ones from the store in questionable liquid. I’ve definitely come to love them now!

!ENGAGE 25

In Eastern Washington, in peach country (Omak) there is a local only peach called the donut. It's about the size of a Krispy Creme and is as sweet as can be. It only lasts a couple of days on the shelf so they don't raise many, but man are they good!

I do quite a few preserves and pickles. I have never made fruit butter, though. I haven't eaten it either. That said, those both sound delicious and a great way to deal with surplus fruit.

I am probably going to freeze our surplus peas and broad (fava) beans in the next few days.

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