Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Harvest=Savings!

It's fall! It's cold! It's rainy and muddy! That means it's a great time to go to the out of doors and participate in the harvest, that special experience where the earth starts decorating with tasty things to eat, and we get the benefits. That was a little less poetic than I was going for...

This weekend I went to Detering Orchards. A trip requires a car, so if you don't have one, talk up the trip a few weeks before with car-bearing friends. It's on Coburg Road, past the town of Coburg, keep going, enter Linn County, and when you think you should turn around, keep going. On weekends it's crowded with children, but sometimes they have free apple pie and ice cream. Score! Once there, you and your friends grab big five gallon buckets and head for the trees. Most of the rows are labeled with the type of apples. Now, here's the trick to getting the most fruit for your dollar: windfalls. There's a discount if you pick your apples up off the ground, and you should really have no trouble finding rot-free apples. My roommate and I filled up two buckets and paid $16.50.

Now I've got to have an apple processing party for myself. My cousin scoped out some mason jars from a free box, which are reserved for apple sauce and maybe a few jars of chutney. I'm using this website as a reference for all my canning needs: Ball Canning and Preserving I've got my own food dehydrator, but since that one got send home to my parents', I'll be borrowing most of my preserving things from Grandma: food dehydrator, big canning pot, jar lifter, peeler/corer/slicer (these things are amazing!) and jar rings. The only thing I'm going to have to buy out of this deal are the apples and flat lids for the mason jars. Preserving means they won't go bad before I eat them, and I'll have tasty applestuffs through the winter! My after Halloween plans: grab all the unused/discounted pumpkins I can and freeze the pumpkin for pies!

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