It’s just a flesh wound

Hubby has  a saying. “It’s not home improvement until somebody bleeds.” Apparently, this applies to food preservation too.

Perhaps I should back up a bit.

During last weekend’s yurtastic birthday extravaganza, we snagged 75 pounds of Granny Smith and Arkansas Black apples at a nearby orchard. (Note: Ask to see the seconds in the back. Farmers can’t sell ugly produce, and we bought 25 pound bags of delicious, slightly dinged up fruit for only $7.)

Finally got around to canning them on Saturday, and the recipe is pretty straightforward. Peel, core and slice, cut away bad spots, boil for 5 minutes, fill jars, and heat in a water bath for 20 minutes.

Easy, right?

Red right hand

That core-and-slice bit turned out to be problematic, and an important lesson was learned. No matter how fancy the name on the label, do NOT use a corer with metal blades attached to a plastic frame, lest you end up like this when the blades break away.

Not to worry. No stitches were needed, and the bleeding eventually stopped, thanks to a pouch of the trusty clotting powder we keep on hand for camping trips.

Canning recommenced with Brad’s help, and by the end of the day, we had 29 beautiful pints of cooked apples and a gallon of dried slices.

But you can bet your sweet bupkis that from now on, I’ll be using a corer with a solid metal frame.

Arkansas Black vs Granny Smith

As a side note, the Arkansas Blacks were much better for preserving intact slices. The Granny Smiths turned to applesauce after just four minutes of boiling, so the rest were saved for drying. You’ll be hearing about those soon as we begin experimenting with homemade snack mixes.

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