Canning Applesauce and More Corn

I wrote this post yesterday, so it goes for Saturday 8-9-14.

Yesterday I got a major deal on corn. I got 42 ears for $5. That works out to a little under 12 cents per ear. From that we used 33 ears for canning and got 11 pints. Not all of these ears were as big as the last batch, but that was because it was the last of what he had and he just gave it all to me for $5 since I have been such a good customer for the last 3 years. It had been selling at 4/$1, so I got it for a little less than half price.

We saved out 8 ears for fresh eating and one ear turned out to be immature so it went to the birds, so that is why only 33 went to canning. So 33 ears equals out to $3.96. That divided by 11 pints equals 33 cents per pint. So we definitely beat out the last batch which was 54 cents per pint. Plus, of course, the corn cobs go out to the chickens and turkeys over the next few days and they eat a considerable bit of what is left off of it. If we still had a wood stove we could then collect the ears and let them finish drying out and then use them for fire starters in the fall, winter, and spring.

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Once the corn was canning, we got to work on the dropped apples. We washed them really well and cut out the nasty parts and peeled and cored them, then quartered them for applesauce. We had five three gallon buckets of drops, but only got through 2 of them today. I had 3 crockpots full of apples. We cook them on high for 4 hours, stirring every hour, and after the first two hours mashing them with a potato masher and then again after the third hour. I start with one cup of sugar in each one and 1 tbsp of cinnamon, which gives it a deep brown color. Each batch ended up with almost 4 cups of sugar because these apples were very tart. With sweeter apples we can often get by with just one cup of sugar, sometimes two. My son did the taste testing and adding of sugar since he is the one who eats most of it and my husband likes it the way my son does so it works.

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I ended up with 12 pints of applesauce, plus my son had two big bowls of it warm with dinner. I am not sure exactly how much this cost us. I am still working my way through a 25 pound bag of organic sugar that I bought for making jelly two years ago. I got it pretty cheap because they had split the bag during unloading. None of the sugar had even fallen out, but because the top of the bag had come open it was marked down. It’s been in the freezer. But I am guessing it was maybe about 50 cents a pint between the sugar and the cinnamon. Not bad for organic applesauce, which is around $4 a quart last time I priced it. I am on the last of the sugar, though. I have maybe 12 cups left so will have to buy more if I am going to make anything else with sugar besides these last 3 buckets of apples into sauce. Well, I might have one more 10 pound bag frozen, but I’m not sure. I don’t think so, though.

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We had one bucket of waste from the peels and cores. This went to the chickens, ducks, and turkeys, who chowed down on it like it wasn’t the same stuff that has been falling in the yard for the past week. Well, it’s in a more accessible form. I have noticed that the birds’ feed consumption has gone way down this week as they get all the canning waste, plus a lot of pulled weeds.

We will have apples several more times between now and the end of the fall. Some will be good eating apples and I think at least one variety is a good storage apple. But most of them are pie and sauce apples. I am not sure how much applesauce I will make, but my son is determined for me to do at least enough for 2 jars a week. I told him if he wants that he’s going to have to start helping to peel and quarter them. Applesauce is super easy, but it is time consuming to prepare, so he can help on that.

I did not make it over to buy more potatoes so now that will have to wait until Monday, since the place I get the no-spray potatoes from is closed on Sunday. I will make it over to the sporting goods store and buy more lids tomorrow, though. They are the cheapest place in town for jar lids, even beating out the feed store. I also need to go to the feed store and pick up a bag of the ducks’ organic layer feed, which the chickens eat, too. The turkeys are not going through their organic grower feed very fast. In the same amount of time the ducks and chickens have gone through 3/4 of a 50 pound bag, the turkeys have only gone through 1/4 of a 40 pound feed bag. But then there are only 4 turkeys and there are 9 ducks and 10 chickens.

The ducks are mating a lot right now and Addy laid her first egg today. Not in the nesting box, but on the floor, so we put the back up nesting box in the spot she laid her first egg in, hoping she will use it. Anyway, with the mating that is going on, we will definitely have to reduce our drake population. I’d like to do 2 of them when the husband first gets home this hitch. Maybe on Saturday. Then if two is still too many we will cut it down to one while we still have time to do it. I do think that may be the case, but with 5 ducks and 2 drakes, we just might have harmony. We’ll have to see. I think it’s going to end up going down to just the one, though and that I am just using wishful thinking.

If I end up with one and something happens to him, it will be easy enough to pick up another Welsh Harlequin drake, and ducks are pretty accepting, unlike chickens, of a lone bird being introduced into the flock. I see them advertised all the time. So I really don’t need the proverbial heir and a spare. I just want ducklings next year to sell and to raise for meat. Even if none of my girls go broody, we can incubate

I really hope we’ll have sold our house by then and have bought our new farm. We had two showings this week and one’s credit rating was 40 points too low to get a loan and the other thought that the house just off the major highway had too much road noise. Yes, then why look at houses just off a major highway? We used to have a fence that helped lessen the road noise and you can’t hear it in the house unless the windows are opened. We always used fans at night to cover it if we wanted to sleep with the windows open, and it didn’t bother us. I don’t know if that house will ever sell at this point. It’s been on the market for nine months. We’ve lowered the asking price once. It’s not out of comps. I just don’t know.

My daughter was doing much better today. Her head is clear and she is walking around much better. So prayers have been answered, but keep them coming. She has a lot more healing to do. And if you wouldn’t mind praying for the house to sell soon as well, I’d appreciate it.

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