Christmas is in the air on Dunemere lane. This Saturday after breakfast the Ambrose family set out to find a tree and by days end the chosen one was standing in the eastern most corner of our family room. The tree stands just over 7 feet tall, a balsam fir, it smells like Christmas and after a few hours of family time (and a few slices of yesterdays pizza) it looks like Christmas.
In the kitchen we had a project, teachers gifts. This year’s recipe calls for applesauce delivered in glass jars with personalized cards. The apples came from the Milk Pail in Watermill. I wanted a red and green effect and with a suggestion from Anne Halsey the Milk Pail’s owner I found a food mill at The Little Kitchen and we used it to mill cooked Fuji apples, their skins left on. Anne explained that if you wish to have red apple sauce leave the skins of sweet red apples on as you cook, puree them and you’ll have red applesauce. In preparation for an upcoming dinner party at The Little Kitchen I decided to use Wolffer apple wine as the liquid/acid addition. To add the hint of green we sliced a dozen Granny Smith apples and cooked them the same way. However as they came off the stove top (15 minutes) we layered the red puree with the green chunks of apple sauce and everyone agreed it looked like Christmas and it tasted fresh and sweet.
12 ½ liter jars w/ rubber seals and lockable glass lids
12 Fuji apples
12 Granny Smith apples
1 bottle (750ml) Wolffer big apple wine
3 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
This recipe requires timing—not only for the 2 elements of the apple sauce, but the jars as well. They must be cleaned with hot water and soap and rinsed well, then they should be boiled in a large/ deep pan and filled with hot sauce immediately. Today we did 3 at a time. Once filled, the rims are wiped clean and lids locked down tight, then they go back into the boiling water bath for five minutes or until the water returns to a full boil. As they come out of the water the goal is to cool them as fast as possible. It was 31 degrees outside today so we put the jars on the patio dining table for 20 minutes and then into the freezer for and hour and a half, then, just as they began to freeze they went into the fridge.
For dinner we purchased 2 4 lb chickens at Iocona, stuffed them with sliced tangerines, dusted them with salt and George Washington’s seasoning and roasted them for ½ hour. When the chickens came out of the 400 stove, we added 4 peeled and sliced carrots with 6 cloves garlic and 10 peeled shallots, covered all with aluminum foil and returned to the oven for 40 minutes. Served with frozen sweet peas in white wine and butter served over white rice.