Put Up Or...
Ok, not really. It's still too hot for this Alaskan Girl.
But the plants are coming to the end of the growing season and soon it will be time to put the pot garden to bed.
I harvested about half of my basil this weekend.
The oregano is still going strong, so I'll keep cutting that for as long as I can. I usually just let the pot stay outside in the winter all year long since oregano comes up every year.
I know my coolest sister in law asked me how I dried my herb.
It's easy, I tie some kitchen cotton around it and hang it up to dry.
When it's dry in a week or two, I'll strip the leaves off the stems and stick the oregano or basil in the proper baby food jar I keep my home grown stash in.
I also have some bitchin' catnip that I've grown this year. That goes in a plastic baggie.
This past long weekend I also made apple butter from the two and a half gallon bags I had on hand of apple cores and peels I had left over from making applesauce.
Just dump it into a pot, add some apple cider and simmer it until you get a disgusting apple slurry that looks like someone vomited up on your stove.
Now you can either put your apple vomit through a food mill to separate the skins and seeds from the good stuff or you can do what I do and push the vomit through a strainer.
It's hard work with not a great yield, but apple butter is SO delish, it's worth the time!
Put your skinned and seeded apple vomit, which now looks like apple velvet, back into your pot (I rinse out the pot to prevent any stray seeds/skins getting in there) and add your spices.
I like to add about a teaspoon of allspice, ground cloves and cinnamon to my apple butter.
Pay no attention to the fact it's been over three years since I've set foot in a Kroger store.
Before you start simmering the apple butter, this is where I like to wash out my jars and set them aside on a clean towel to dry.
Now, for the hard part, you have to simmer and constantly stir (to prevent scorching) the apple butter for anywhere from an hour to two hours.
I keep a clean plate around to "test" the butter with.
What you do to see if the apple butter is done is dab a bit on your plate and see how much of a liquid ring you get around the butter.
Here you can see it's pretty darn close to being done. There's still a bit of a ring.
Right before you are ready to ladle your butter into your jars, dip your jars into your hot water to sterilize them and bring them to the same temperature as your apple butter.
Fill your jars leaving 1/4" to 1/2" of space to the lid, wipe down the rims of the jars with a damp towel, toss on the lids, and put in the water bath for 20 minute.
For all those hours of work, I got only 5 pints of apple butter.
But so worth it! YUM!
Labels: Pot Garden