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Apple Butter and Garden Harvest Soup
The weather turned colder and weíve had our first light frost. It didnít kill the vegetable plants in the garden, but they donít look too well. That means the season is winding down. Oh how I hate to say that.
I did manage to can some tomatoes, pickles, and apples. My friends have given me more apples, so I need to get busy and start canning. Iíve already made apple butter with our first batch of apples and it turned out delicious. Here is the recipe I used.
Wash the apples. Peel and core them. I used a handy little peeler and slicer from White Mountain. It worked well on some apples, but if they were misshapen, I would have to peel them with a hand peeler.
Save the peelings and cores for another project like wine. My friends also use the peelings to make apple crisp.
Fill a large slow cooker with the sliced apples. Put the lid on and turn the heat to high. The lid may not fit properly, but that doesnít matter. The apples will cook down. Turn the heat down to low or medium, and leave them to cook.
The recipe calls for allowing the apples to cook overnight on a low setting. When doing our apple butter, I set the slow cooker on high and forgot about it as I became busy through the day. Later that evening, I gave it a stir and the apples literally melted. None stuck to the bottom either.
Next, add 3 to 4 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and Ĺ-teaspoon cloves. Continue to cook to dissolve the sugar. Fill hot jars with the hot apple butter. Process them in a water bath for 10 minutes.
Here is a good vegetable soup recipe, if you have extra zucchini on hand. Itís just the thing to warm a person up on the inside, as the weather turns colder.
Garden Harvest Soup
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 hot peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained (Or better yet, use home grown.)
2 cups diced zucchini
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (8-3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained (Or home grown corn would be perfect in this soup.)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
In a large saucepan, sautť the red pepper, hot peppers, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, butternut squash and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until squash is almost tender.
Stir in remaining ingredients; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 7 servings (1-3/4 quarts).
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