Monday, November 1, 2010

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day. I think it got up to 70°. Today is a different matter. It is overcast, very breezy and cool. They are predicting down to 20° by Friday! Ouch.

I defrosted and cleaned out the upright freezer on the back porch yesterday. I hate that job, but it has to be done. The freezer door doesn't close tight enough at the top and it frosts up badly. We have had the thing forever and should probably just retire it.

I found several bags of apple peelings and cores. I dumped them into the maslin pan with some apple cider (another thing to get out of the frig!)and cooked all. This morning I strained for the juice and then pressed the rest through the Foley Food Mill. I didn't get much pulp but it makes a delicious apple butter. I just add sugar and spices to taste and cook it down until it thickens a little. Right at the last I added maybe 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. I ended up with 7 cups of juice (back in the freezer in one container) and 3 and half jars of butter.
From Preserving
From Preserving
Another note on the maslin pan: I wondered how it would work with really thick food and a small scorching and worked like a charm. I actually used the pouring method to fill the jars.

Nothing is really wasted here; if I decide something is past its prime I give it to the chickens. They come running. I often have a pan full of things when I defrost or clean the frig and freezer.

The Happy Hens

Ilene, I found another use the the Maslin Pan (it deserves capital letters!). I found a 3.5 lb. package of ground hog fat in the freezer so I rendered it this afternoon. It took 15 minutes to cook down the first rendering...I stirred it to keep it from sticking now and then. I ended up with a nice 1.5 quarts, a small jar of seasoning lard and almost 2 cups of cracklings.

Now to the easy chair and a good book!


  1. Glenda, it amazes me just how hard you can pinch a penny...I'm impressed! If we all used these principles in our life, we'd have more money in bank and that wonderful accomplished feeling at the end of the day! My Dad's brothers and sister used to grow out hogs and then butcher in the fall. We'd have a freezer full of pork. Mom would bake the skins for cracklin's and they were soooo good! Thanks again Glenda for letting me borrow the cherry pie picture, check out GrannyMountain tomorrow...I'll be talkin' about ya!

  2. Well I wondered how the pan would do for rendering fat.

    I think the reason my jam splattered so bad in the pan was because I tried to make too big of a batch. You know how jam is, if the batch is too big it takes forever to come to the jelly point.

    I believe in using everything, too. I had to process one of the pumpkins because it had a bad spot that was getting soft. The pumpkin wasn't ripe and so the pulp was only light yellow and not very fragrant. I've baked it and removed it from the skin and will puree it and use it in muffins, or something. I saved the seed for planting next year. And the immature seed and that loose pulp that's around the seed, I always just throw in the food processor and that goes in muffins or bread. Except this time I got distracted and didn't put the container in the refrigerator. By the time I discovered it, it was too late to salvage. So it went into the compost. If I had chickens they probably would've enjoyed it. I'm thinking about getting some chickens one of these days.

  3. I would love to have some chickens scratching up around here. But too many hawks, so why temp fate? The butter looks scrumptious. I like how many ways you've found to use that new pan.

    Only mid 20s this morning. I'll be pulling up all the annuals today. They sure made a great show.

  4. The apple butter looks so pretty in the jars. I love the way you used the peelings and cores to make apple butter. My mom used to do the same thing with her peelings and cores.

    The cracklings look delicious. I grew up on a farm and my dad raised and butchered hogs. We would render the lard in a huge iron vat over an open fire outside. I couldn't wait to get our first batch of cracklins. I loved using the tiny bits in cornbread. Such good memories.

  5. Love your chickens!! We had chickens early on in our marriage until I had to fight with a blacksnake over who got the eggs! I about chopped the chicken house down trying to kill that snake.

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