Monday, September 15, 2014

Canning, Knitting, and a Visit

Alexandra was down over the weekend and we had such a nice time. She said she wanted to "can something" and so that's what we did. After considering the suggestions left in the comments here (thank you so much!), and a discussion back and forth on Facebook between the two of us, we decided on apple butter.

I searched through recipes online and came up with several that you do in the crockpot. I settled on this one because it didn't require a huge amount of time from start to finish. I liked the idea of leaving the lid off during the last bit of cooking. It worked great, although a word of warning if you use the recipe. It only took about an hour to cook down once the lid was removed, not the four and a half hours the recipe states.

While the apples cooked we drove down to the local u-pick blackberry farm. This is a brilliant place to pick blackberries because they are thornless. I'm very happy to pay a dollar a pound in exchange for not getting cut to shreds. Because this was a canning weekend we decided to make some blackberry jam.


We finished the jam and the apples were still cooking, so we then made a batch of pumpkin butter. I had baked the pumpkins early Saturday morning before Alexandra arrived.


I wish I could have also canned the smells in the house. Baked pumpkin, apples simmering in the crockpot, and sweet blackberry jam bubbling away on the stove - it was heavenly! 


In the midst of the canning we also managed to get some pictures of the latest project off my needles. I started this sweater in June, but then put it aside when the weather got too hot. Unfortunately, at least in terms of putting on a wool sweater for pictures, Saturday was another scorcher. I thought I was going to melt walking down to the creek, and maybe I'm just paranoid, but I'm quite sure people were staring at me. Small wonder. 

Tea with Jam and Bread, knit with Cascade 220 

I debated whether or not to include the pockets. I have a vest I made that has pockets that stick out on the sides and give the impression I'm a balloon being filled with air. It's not a look I am fond of. But since these pockets are on the front I decided to take a chance and put them in. I'm really glad I did. I think they give the sweater personality.


I'm super pleased with how it turned out, and I'm sure it will be worn lots this fall and winter. It was such a nice weekend in so many ways, but the very best part was spending it with Alexandra. It was so nice to see her feeling well, and in such a good place in her life right now. Her health issues will be a lifelong struggle for her, but she handles them with grace and courage. When she was little, and oh so sick, I used to worry about what things were going to be like for her as an adult. Slowly, slowly, I'm letting go of some of that worry. I think she's going to be okay.

20 comments:

  1. Oh, my. I wish you could can that smell! I'm sure your treats taste equally as wonderful as they smell. Your sweater is really great! I think the pockets add a special detail to the overall design. I would have been hesitant to add them for the same reasons you were, but I think they work really nicely.

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  2. Those smells must have been heavenly! Your jumper looks so good too. I'm glad you had a good time with Alexandra and her health is good too. Sarah x

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  3. Apple butter! Just the name of it! I really like your stripy jumper. I have a similar one that I wear when I walk Honey.
    Leanne xx

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  4. Some great memories been made. The jumper is a real delight, I love the colour combination and the pockets.

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  5. I love the sweater!! It looks terrific and great on you. I wondered about the pockets too but you are absolutely right they add a nice touch. Your canning and jam making looks divine. What a great way to spend time with your daughter. Happy times!

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  6. I love the pockets! I'm so glad you included them because they look great. I've been thinking about making apple butter myself but have never tried making it before. I'm glad to hear it wasn't too bad to make. I think I'll have to give it a try. I'm glad you had a nice canning weekend with Alexandra, it looks like a lovely way to spend time together.

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  7. I like the pockets, there's something cozy about having pockets to stick ones hands in.

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  8. I think people were looking at the jumper to admire the colours. They blend perfectly.

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  9. The sweater look awesome! And so glad to hear Alexandra is doing well!

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  10. The smell in your kitchen must have been wonderful.
    The jumper looks lovely and the pockets finish it off a treat!

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  11. Better than okay! The pockets work and that's a lovely sweater. I couldn't have worn it for a picture outside in the heat (it would have soured my mood) and I'm not sure how you did. Whew!
    I've always been a fan of apple butter, but after two servings or so, the craving is gone for months (sometimes years). The same thing happens with cream soda and root beer.

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  12. First: I'm so happy Alexandra is in such a good place. And that you are feeling able to release some of that worry. Second, I completely forgot about apple butter! I love it and haven't made it in years. And third, that sweater! I just looked at the first picture of it and then read about it, and never noticed the pockets until you mentioned them. I think that makes them successful pockets. :)

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  13. What a wonderful productive weekend, Kristie. Your preserves look marvellous and will taste even better and I really love that sweater, though I must say you look a tad warm. :-)

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  14. Oh, Kristie. So much here that tells me your home is a warm and loving sanctuary. I know we share a common bond in health issues with our daughters; it does me good to see her doing so well. I agree about the pockets. I have my Knit Wits group in the morning. It will be good to pick up the needles again.

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  15. Your sweater is perfect and you are going to love it so much when things cool off a bit. I bet your house did smell wonderful and I bet everything tastes wonderful too.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  16. Oh, I love the idea of making apple and pumpkin butter. I'll be searching for recipes now. Your sweater is lovely and, I agree, the pockets give it character.

    She Knits in Pearls

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  17. I can almost smell the deliciousness of your kitchen, I have a huge amount of apples so I'll copy the recipe; it'll make a change from crumbles and pies!

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  18. Kristie, I love that sweater; glad you included the pockets. Don't know you, but it *seems* to suit you to a T! Nothing like a day of canning with someone you love -- your wish to have "canned the smells" made me smile.

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  19. I could have sworn, cross my heart and hope to die, that I'd already left an admiring sweater comment here ... clearly the ether ate it! Have another ... brilliant sweater, perfect pockets, you look fab :)

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  20. Looks like a lovely time! I really like the sweater colors and my mouth is now watering, picturing the yummy things you put up!

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