Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dried Apples, Jelly and Vinegar

Last year was a nashi year, but this year I ate only two. Instead, this year has been an apple year. I dried four large Agee jars full of cooking apples, then quite a lot of eating apples: it's hard to say how many because we keep eating them! I am so glad to have invested in a bigger slicing blade for my Magimix food processor, and in my wonderful Excalibur dehydrator.

 As you can see, one bag is almost empty, even though we haven't finished eating the fresh apples yet.

After I mentioned on Facebook that I was dehydrating apples, one of my FB friends, Mac's cousin Emma, suggested that I turn the peelings and cores into vinegar.
 Why not? Here's the last lot soaking in a bucket with water and a splash of cider vinegar.
 Something's definitely happening - whether it ends up edible, we will discover in time.
Meanwhile, the feijoas started to fall at the rate of a bucketful a day. After getting a new stockpot at Farmers with a 60% discount, I started out with the promise of not having to spend hours afterwards scrubbing chacoal off the bottom as I had to do every time when using my late mother-in-law's preserving pan. I boiled up the feijoas,
then put them to strain through cloth bags, into the very useful buckets I got from a fellow beekeeper. They originally held the rather disgusting filling that you get in slices from bakeries.
 They come with lids, which keep the wretched plague of small flies that have invaded us, out of the jelly bags.
 After boiling up the liquid with fair trade sugar from Trade Aid, I end up with beautiful jelly, which will be distributed to family. Thanks to the Edmonds Cookery Book.

Meanwhile, outside the rain was falling and the garden was gasping with relief and enthusiasm after the weeks of dry weather.
The leeks have grown a few inches.
The pumpkin vines, which had started to die off, have sprouted new shoots and flowers, in a burst of unwarranted optimism.
The broad beans and peas have sprouted, and the brassica seedlings are standing up again, instead of lying limply on the dry ground.
The rhubarb is looking healthy again, not only from the rain, but also from being released from underneath an over-excited pumpkin vine, and fed a couple of buckets full of worm wee.
And the Meyer lemon tree - there's really nothing more joyful than the globes of sunshine adorning a lemon tree - hmmm - there might just be enough eggs to make a couple more jars of lemon honey tomorrow.


Robin said...

OMG, you have a fabulous place,Ill goggle where you live,(ooo that sounds stalkerish)Ive never heard of it.. how bads that when im a kiwi..... and where would you get time for anything with a garden that size. Its amazing. All that apple drying to.
Thanks for all your cool comments. much appreciated. Cheers Robin

Cally said...

Thanks Robin - Kauroa isn't somewhere people have heard of - not unless you're a farmer. All that's there is the Kauroa Saleyards and a landscape supplies yard. We're about 10 mins from Raglan, which you probably have heard of.

Emma Galloway said...

You're garden looks amazing! Makes me miss home and all that lovely fertile soil. Sadly we only have sand here in Perth, which makes for pretty hard going when trying to grow your own veges! Thanks for stopping by my blog and yes I totally remember your face from around Raglan town :-) xx