Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Harvest time

These past weeks I have been preparing for the winter to come. Autumn is a wonderful time of harvesting, making jams and juices, picking mushrooms for the freezer as well as for making them for lunch or supper. This is how I make apple sauce:

I cut the apples in half, take out the stick and the blossom remains and put the pieces in my juice cooker for about half an hour, until they look like this:

Then I mash the steaming hot apples with my "Mouli-legumes".

After adding sugar I put the thick sauce in these hot glass jars up to the brim and screw the lids tight. The hot sauce will shrink when it cools and there will be a vacuum to keep the apple sauce intact in my cellar. I have been doing this so much that my shoulder is growing big muscles from winding the masher mill.

Melanie was interested in recipes for rowan berry jam. The magazines are full of those right now, so here is one including apples to make the jam less bitter:

1 kg apples
1 kg rowan berries
0.5 l water
800 g sugar
1. Wash and cut the apples in big chunks, remove the cores and stems
2. Strip the rowan berries from their clusters and rinse well
3. Cook the apples and berries in water until they are soft
4. Mash the apples and berries through a sieve or with a masher like the one in my apple pictures
5. Pour the mash back to the kettle, add the sugar and cook for about 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens a little
6. Put the hot sauce/jam in hot glass jars and close them immediately.
The rowan berry jam is usually served with strong meat like venison or reindeer, but can be served like any other jam if you like the "slightly" bitter taste.
I found another recipe, for a rowanberry-carrot marmalade:
1 l rowan berries
½ l roughly crated carrots
300 g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Strip and rinse the rowan berries. Cook them in a small amount of water until they are soft. Mash the berries with a mixer or any preferred method. Mix the berry mash, carrots, sugar and cinnamon in a kettle and let simmer until the crated carrots are soft and the mixture is thickened. Remove the cinnamon stick. Put in clean, hot glass jars and close the lids immediately.
The taste of rowan berries varies, so if possible, taste the berries of different trees and choose the sweetest for the jam.
I finally finished a project I promised in August to make for my niece. She is my goddaughter and a kindergarten teacher. They have new learning material, and the new book tells also about a bookworm. My niece M asked if I could make a softie bookworm on the basis of the picture in the book, and this is the result of my imagination:

It was a challenging task and I should have made a test softie before my deadline was close. Well, like I have said before, people usually use all the time available for a project, and so did I. No time to make a new improved version. But on the other hand, the children may see this learning companion as a friend with its flaws and personal features.

On a good day the bookworm can stand on his six legs, but sometimes they spread like Bambi's on ice, as you can see in the first picture.


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  2. Hi Ulla that is a fabulous bookworm I'm sure it will help many children learn and be a class treasure and memory.

    Thank you so much for the recipes. I've printed them out. As far as I know there are no English equivalents which seems like a waste of an edible berry! :-)

  3. our applesauce looks delicious! I am making apple crisp tomorrow. Mom used to have a gadget.. bigger than your masher.. called a "Squeezo". It worked the same way by turning it with a crank, only there was a special thing that seperated the seeds and blossoms so we didn't have to cut them out first. Such a modern invention. But we still have to crank it. Now I know another lady who has one too, and her husband set it up with a drill attached where the handle was, so she can "crank it" with the motorized drill. I thought this was very clever.
    Your bookworm is wonderful. The children are going to love him!!


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