Wednesday, August 20, 2008

April's Factory

Hello.  My name is April.  Welcome to my factory.  Would you like a tour?  Please watch your step, there are several small plastic automobiles placed along the walking paths for your breaking pleasure.  I've only tripped on them about a trillion times.  We have very good health insurance......and liability coverage....and there are bandages strewn on the floor in the upstairs restroom in case you need one or eighty. 

Are there any questions before we begin?  What's that you said?  Did you say that is a crock?

Oh.  Yes, this is a crock.  A butter crock.  We like to move it around the kitchen, uh, er, I mean FACTORY and have it handy in case any of the 'workers' needs a piece of toast or a dollop of butter or maybe they need to moisturize.

We have a resident artist that is practicing butter sculpture.  We're trying to train him to put his tools away,but he thinks it's more convenient to leave them in the crock for all the world to appreciate.  Ugh, artists.  If you think you can't live without a butter crock, go here and get you one.  I love mine, I think I love it more than butter......and I really, really love butter. 

Back to the tour.  Here we have the apples grown out in the orchard.  We store them in specialized recycled apples containers.  Today the factory made apple pie and apple crisp.  I, uh, I mean, we also made apple sauce and froze sliced apples and threw some yucky apples to the  factory garbage disposals.  You know what?  There are still millions and trillions and gazillions of apples on the trees.  We will be making lots of recipes with apples.  If you have a good one, we're all apples....I mean ears.  Please share your favorite and we will put it through our test kitchen and  post photos of the expert taste testers eating it. Because at this factory, we care about our visitors and we want to hear your opinions and taste your dishes.  So, please share the love. 

This was the factories first and maybe last attempt at pickles.  We made southern sweet pickles.  I think they're a bit like bread-n-butter pickles.  We don't like bread-n-butter pickles. We don't know why we made them.  With all the soaking and cooking, it took two days to make two measly jars.  Not worth it.  No.  We are closing the pickle sector effective now.

We also freeze our lovely garden tomatoes.  There are still lots and lots of green tomatoes out in the garden.  We will be putting these to good use this winter.

The factory supervisor likes to bring in herbs to use in the factory recipes.  But, sometimes she brings them in, sets them on the counter and then forgets about them.  Then the herbs wilt and the supervisor has to decide if the herbs should be dried or thrown down the garbage disposals.
So far, the garbage disposals are winning the wilted herbs.  

Did you know the factory was growing grapes?  Yes, we are.... or did.  We made grape jam or rather followed a recipe for grape butter.  It's kitchen tested and approved.

And here is the break room complete with coffee mug.  Don't you love a good coffee mug?  This is from the same place as the butter crock.  If you like it you can see lots more of the guy that makes them here.  

Thanks for coming on our tour today.  If you would like to stick around and help clean up or work or volunteer or give the workers a pep talk or......please don't go....please stay......please help me.....please....please.....pleeeeeeeeeease!


a bite of country cupcakes said...

Looks like a very nice and industrious kitchen!!
I personally would've liked a photo of the band-aids strewn on the floor!!:)

JenniferB said...

Your butter crock is better than my butter tupperware. See? It just doesn't have the same ring. And I canned 127 quarts of applesauce this summer, so yes, I hear ya -- good luck with that!

Phelan said...

I would come help you, but my own factory is working mandatory overtime.

Mama Hen said...

Wow, your factory is doing great! My factory is working overtime too and right now it looks like the factory exploded with pears.

Karen said...

Oh, don't give up on the pickles - make freezer pickles - the recipe is super easy.

And, um, I didn't know you could freeze tomatoes! Does that mean that I can make fresh gazpacho now and freeze it for when I want it when there aren't any good tomatoes available?

Urban Heidi said...

I'm so jealous... I've always wanted apple trees and grapes.

Living on the Spit said...

I will come work for free if we can make some Apple Brandy and maybe can some scalloped apples and cinnamon for griddle cakes in the winter. We can also can some Caramel Apples for all the ice cream I make...okay...I am getting hungry. I do love apples...and bread and butter pickles...have you ever had watermelon pickles? Yum. I want to can some pear preserves. Real (home-made as opposed to store bought) butter, white toast and pear idea of heaven!!!!

Clayvessel said...

27 years on our homestead and I've learned something.

Pickles are SO much easier if you just do fresh. Do you have a spare refrigerator? If not, they are a necessity on a farm when you are putting up food. Craigslist.
Anyway, I don't make those time-consuming pickles anymore. I save gallon glass jars, (or half gallons) put in the cucs, spices, garlic, peppers, etc. Pour the boiling brine over. Let cool. Then store in the spare refrigerator all year. Let them sit a month before you start eating 'em. The longer they store the better they taste and they are always crispy and crunchy. They don't spoil and there's no canning! You can do a little (on those days you only have six cucumbers) or alot!

Also, do you not have someplace you can just store your apples instead of putting them all up now? Time to build an insulated fruit shed! Bins of apples waiting for later! Also, taters, onions, garlic, squashes, pumpkins, etc. Put off until tomorrow what is too much for today!

Bless you and your "factory"!

Rhea said...

Fun tour!

Growing up on a ranch in Texas, we had an apple orchard, and my parents got creative with their apple recipes also. I remember them making wine? one year. I think it was wine. Something alcoholic...required lots of fermenting...I think it turned out well. I think.

Anyway, your post reminded me of that.

Jenni said...

I like Pioneer Woman's apple brown betty. It's very quick and easy and is a great way to use the bread heels that no one seems to want. It was a big hit when I made if for our Bible fellowship.

Sheri said...

I have a great recipe for canned apple pie filling. Just dump the jar into the pie crust and bake.
also, if you have an excess of those grapes, try freezing them on a cookie sheet and place in a freezer bag for a yummy snack. (Ours never last long enough to put in the bag) :)

annie said...

This is the best apple spice cake -- and easy, and addictive. I think that I made like 30 of them last year.
Makes me wish that I had an apple tree.

Romi said...

I really like this recipe. I think your factory workers will too.

Apple Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
5 cups peeled, chopped apples
2 cups finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnanmon and oil. Add eggs, & vanilla. Mix well and stir in apples and nuts. Bake in two 9x13 pans, 40 minutes.

Romi said...

that would be 'cinnamon' not the hard to find variety I mentioned:-)or spelled wrong...

Anonymous said...

I just wish I had some of your bounty to put up. We didn't plant a garden this year and I am SO regretting it.

Cute post!

Coffee Bean said...

A couple of years ago I made a bunch of apple jelly. A nice elderly lady with a bunch of apple trees told a friend that we could come take as much as we wanted. We also froze a TON of them. Some of the apple jelly did not turn out for some reason and was like syrup. So we used it that way and... boy, I sure wish I could figure out how we did that because it was better than apple jelly. Maybe if you only use half the pectin? We followed the directions though... it is too bad when you make a mistake like that and then can't do it again!

Cynthia said...

You inspired me to revisit a favorite apple recipe. I'm afraid that it only uses 1 cup of chopped apple, though.

I have canned applesauce and apple pie filling. My favorite is to dry the slices, though.

Cynthia said...

I forgot to say that I posted the recipe on my site.

Duh, Cynthia!

Anyway, it is there if you want it!

Karen Deborah said...

Girl your getting to be a fabulous writer and a very industrious mom. BRAVO!

Karen Deborah said...

Girl your getting to be a fabulous writer and a very industrious mom. BRAVO! I have a very easy recipe for pickles if you would like it.