I have had the crockpot going non stop since yesterday morning. Our home is filled with the most scrumptious scent. I knew I wanted to make applesauce, but could not find how to make it flavored like "Mott's Healthy Harvest" has in those little cups of 3.9 oz servings. Theirs has no sugar added so I will try a batch (the 4th one) of it without sugar. The kids go crazy over the different flavors so I knew I had to give it a try. It turned out even better then I thought. When doing a test taste (blindfolded just made it more fun) the kids chose mine every time. My first batch was Blueberry applesauce. The second was a raspberry/blueberry applesauce and the third is a chunky cinnamon applesauce- which is in the pot as I write this. I thought I would share with you what worked for us and a recipe I hope you too find devine. The below recipe gave me 2 of the smaller jars and 1 of the larger. On my second batch of sauce, I added in 4 more apples after a few hours. It helped make it meatier/thicker in the end plus gave me more sauce= 2 large & 2 small. My crockpot would only fit the initial amount of apples so as soon as there was enough head room I added in the extra. It did not come out sugar sweet or plain. It had the natural sweet fresh taste you get from fruit.
~ 14-16 apples ~ 2 & 1/4 cups frozen blueberries (from Upick)
~ 3 splashes of vanilla ~1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ~ 1/2 cup sugar
peel & de-core /slice up apples. place in crockpot. add the rest of the ingredients. stir up to mix well. cover with lid & Set crockpot to low. cook for 6-8 hours. enjoy the wonderful scent that will fill the air. be sure to stir once or twice an hour.
put through food mill to remove any skins/peels or berry seeds. ladle into canning jars and seal in hot water bath canner. Label so you know what the purple stuff is on your shelf later on. Try it with 4-5 peeled & sliced peaches, or 2 1/4 cups sliced up strawberries, or4 sliced up pears, even 21/4 cups of mixed berries would be yummy for a different flavor.
I had to use some of these jars I got off freecycle from a nice woman who had an over abundance from another freecycler. If you cannot read the top, it says "Mom's" and the bottom says "Mason jar" with the middle being a woman, hair pulled back, apron on, peeling an apple. The smaller jars are what will be used for sharing with friends later on. I have a few that are centenial themed. my MIL would enjoy hers in them since she enjoys americana themes. They have the year 1876-1976 with a big liberty bell in the middle. I will also be using these for apple pie filling.
--I harvested the last of my spearamint. All of that is from one little plant that has been supplying us with spearamint tea and nibblings all summer. I decided to hang dry them since my dehydrator and all its trays are in use for apple chips and soon to be used for apple roll ups. I tied string across the mud room windows and needle/thread a few stems together then hung it from the window string. Not too much to prevent airflow but enough where I do not have them strung everywhere.
--The baby muscovy's are down to 3. The one on the far left I beleive is the male- he is almost twice what the other 2 are in weight and height. Every night they waddle down to the rec room door and make peeping quacks to me so I know they are ready to go to "bed". They squat down and bob their their heads when they see me. Then as I pick them up into my arms and carry them to the garage area, they snuggle into my neck and arms. After each has been set down in their straw filled container, I give them a rub on the chest which makes them stand tall. After each has had their chest rub, they snuggle into each other and are down for the night. In the morning they sqwuak up a storm untill I open the garage door and they waddle out for another day foraging our land.