Saturday, November 21, 2009

Apples, Grapes and Paint

What do 3 gallons of paint, 80 pounds of apples, and 4 bushels of grapes have in common? They are just the latest in a long list of projects that stem from an obsessive/compulsive personality disorder I've been living with since buying my first issue of Martha Stewart.

WHY do I feel a need to start horrendous projects that cover every surface in my kitchen and cause Fred to hide in the garage playing with ropes? Seriously, isn't one gallon of applesauce enough? Five gallons of grape juice? OF COURSE NOT. There are apples and grapes rotting on trees and vines within a 10 mile radius of my kitchen. They must not be wasted. Save me.

This is how sick I am. Even though I couldn't stand bottling one more half gallon of grape juice, those blasted grapes hanging on the vine over in 'lil old Margaret Beecher's yard were only going to be good for another week. And then they'd be gone. Until next year. And OH MY HECK I may not have canned enough. So I picked 'em. Then I de-stemmed 'em. And I FROZE them, cause you never know if maybe we'll need another SEVENTY gallons of grape juice during the long, hard, Utah winter.

Speaking of winter. It's been a long, LONG, disputed goal of Fred's to put in new windows. Disputed, my friends, because my very illogical, female, reasoning says that the $5000 spent on new windows (that will save, oh, maybe $200 per winter) translates into 25 YEARS before we break even. But, hey, whatever stills the waters.

Turns out, that in order to put in new windows, we had to rip off all the exterior window trim. This turned into weeks and weeks of trying to find someone who was creative enough to put it back. To save a little money, I volunteered to paint all the new wood trim. I JUST LOVE to paint. No, really. And I have nothing else to do.

Uhh, but it turns out you can't paint when the temperature is below 50. Well that's a problem since all our delaying to find the right carpenter put us into early November. We lucked out, though, with TWO, count 'em, TWO days to get 200 feet of window trim painted. No problem. I'm the queen of bite off more than I can chew.

But I did it! It's beautiful and the best part? I got to paint the front door orange!! (You can send your condolences to Fred Schubert, Sandy, Utah.)

Oh, and in an effort not to be idle for a spare minute, I ALSO decided that I needed to make these adorable Rice Krispie spiders for my niece and nephew for Halloween. There's a great story that goes with this particular project. I'll save that for my next post. In the meantime, if you are ever plagued with 80 pounds of apples, here's how you can turn it into 10 gallons of applesauce:

Gatorgirl's Southern Applesauce
(thanks to Lynne W., my personal librarian)

Use enough apples to fill a large non-stick pot.
Jonathon, Gala, Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious or a combo of any sweet apples.
Wash, core and quarter. Leave skins on for flavor.
As you cut them, drop them in 2 quarts of water with 2 Tblsp of lemon juice.
This will keep them from turning brown.

Once all are cored and cut, drain off water.
Put them in pot, with 1/4 cup of sugar on top plus two or three cinnamon sticks (if you like cinnamon)
Turn heat on med-high and cover. Leave the sugar on top of apples so it doesn't scorch on bottom. Once the lid is too hot to touch (about 15 min) turn heat down to med-low, stir apples, and let cook for 45 min. Stir occasionally.

Turn pot off, leaving lid on. Let cool. Mash the apples down and hand pick out the peels. Makes great chunky applesauce!

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