Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apples & giant steel springs...

You wouldn't think apples & steel springs go together, but in my world they do...
So, for the last month or so I've been canning stuff; extra tomatoes & cukes from the garden, pickled some beets, made a few jams, etc. A few weeks ago, I decided that I need to expand the collection, so after finding a Craigslist add for farm apples, I bought a bunch. Made some sauce, some apple butter, & some apple pie filling out of the 1st batch with pretty good success: loved the way the pie filling looked in jars, & the apples were crisp & delish! Must get more apples, I decided; thinking about holiday gifts: back out to Marsing to get 2 more bushels... For the last week or so, I've been making small batches of apples & canning in the evenings. One night the syrup was too thin; watery in the jars, the next night it was way thick-like caramel thick; had to mix the apples in the syrup & spoon into jars. Took forever, but the jars look pretty. The next night, I learned about why one must mix cornstarch with cold water--not hot...then I learned about over-filling of the jars, under filling of the jars, apple peeler malfunctions, etc etc.
Finally, I used up every last apple; then it was onto designing cute labels for the jars--of course I can't be satisfied with buying pre-made labels; had to spend hours on photoshop making my own custom labels so the jars look good... Labeled the jars, including all the pickles & everything else I made earlier. The jars all look great, but one small problem: my dining room table is completely covered with jars stacked 3 high....pantry is already full, hmmmmmm...need a cabinet for all this stuff.

Found a country-ish looking cabinet thing at a cute store in Nampa; & convinced husband to help me load it up & bring it home...Filled with jars; looks really cute & works great. Now the kitchen table doesn't really fit. Kitchen table got demoted to the patio outside. Which brings us to the steel spring....the base for my new small kitchen table that I made today :)
The spring is from a train; it's huge & way heavy; been sitting in the garden for a year or so... I just happened to have a lovely concrete saw blade thats the perfect size for the table top; weld to the spring, add a base of plow disk & nifty bolts & whalla! New table :)New dining room :) Its got a bit of a country vibe right now, not sure about that: but with some more industrial art & accessories I think it'll be ok. Maybe different chairs...hmmmm...

Yes, everyone is getting jars of apples for the holidays :)

Amber