You've heard of the Localvore movement, I'm sure. It's becoming all the rage around here. We've had several articles in the local newspaper this summer regarding different people attempting different variations of the Localvore idea. I'm neither the cook nor the grocery shopper for my household, so I don't really worry about it. But, I'm feeling very Localvore lately. This past weekend, I made crab apple jelly. I love crab apple jelly. I hadn't had any for years and then a couple years ago I found an orchard with one crab apple tree. So, I made jelly. This year, we ran out of jelly and decided we had to make more. Except, those crab apples are expensive. Then we realized that the tree we walk by several times a week is a crab apple tree. And it was loaded with crab apples. Big, beautiful, red, crab apples. Free crap apples as it turns out, because the folks who own the property gave us permission to pick as many apples as we wanted. And that's exactly what we did.
We picked apples. (No, that's not me in the picture.)
Then we brought the apples home and washed them.
We removed the stems and quartered them, but we did not core them. We added some water, put them in a big pot, and boiled them to mush.
We mashed up the mush, strained it through cheesecloth, and measured out the juice.
We added sugar to the juice, poured it into a different pot and boiled it again. Once it reached a rolling boil, we added the liquid pectin, and let it boil for a couple more minutes.
We removed it from the stove, and scooped off the foam.
I let my mother pour it into the jars, because she is an expert jelly pourer and I totally suck at it.
We scooped off some more foam from each jar. We may not be taking it to the fair, but we want pretty jelly.
Because not all our jars are honest to goodness jelly jars (we're cheap and like to reuse store bought jelly jars. and pickle jars. and olive jars. and just about any kind of glass jar with a screw top lid), we have to seal some of them with wax. I let mom pour the wax, too, because she's so good at pouring. (Don't you just love my homemade loop loom potholders?)
And we now have lots of jars of beautiful, yummy crap apple jelly. If you're a good friend of mine, you're likely to get a jar at some point in the near future. If you're not a good friend, it sucks to be you. Perhaps your local grocery store will sell you some crap apple jelly, unfortunately, it won't be as good as mine.
And it's a good thing we didn't plan to take any to the fair, because one of the lids fell on the floor and was used even though it wasn't sterile any more. There may also have been a dog hair in one jar, but I think I managed to scoop it out. Everything tastes better with dog hair, though, so no worries.
If you're not a good friend of mine, but you do receive a jar of crap apple jelly, you might want to inspect it carefully. We've gotta do something with those imperfect jars.
For those interested, we calculated the cost of our jelly to be about $0.66 per jar. That's sixty-six cents people. There's still a whole tree full of crab apples. I should be selling this stuff; I could make tons of money. Home made jelly always sells for a premium. I might be able to charge a little more, or at least get more traffic by pointing out the oh-so-local aspect of this jelly. Of course, my costs might go up if I was selling it. I'd have to buy all pretty jars that could be properly sealed instead of pickle jars with wax. Still, though, I could make a definite profit on this stuff.