Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do you Wear an Apron?

The older I get, the more I realize how little I know.  I learn new things every day.  Especially about cooking and other activity in the kitchen.  Some things I knew, but forgot, only to be reminded by a conversation or a video.  Most things I just recently learned.  One thing I knew, but forgot is using an apron in the kitchen saves clothes from stains and getting ruined before their time. 

When I recently received one as a gift it reminded me that my grandmother was never without one while she was cooking up good things in the kitchen.  Believe me, it was so worth the wait for dinner when she cooked a meal.  She brought a new meaning to the word scratch cooking.

My husband's mom wore an apron while she put together meals from an empty looking cupboard for their brood of eight children.  Not one of them ever went hungry - that I know of.  She was wearing an apron when she taught me how to cook beef so it was fork tender.

My husband's grandmother and aunt wore aprons when they taught me how to water bath can fruits, tomatoes, and jams.

My mom never wore an apron.  Her cooking had a lot to be desired.  There were plenty of meals, as a teen, that I chose not to eat.  I would snack on oranges.  One night I was so hungry I ate 12 oranges.  It was funny to me when she looked for an orange and swore she bought some.  Since they were all gone, I quietly walked away to the bathroom.  She did have one specialty, though.  It was a chocolate box mix cake with white frosting.  I improved on it with home made frosting that included butter and cream.

I have to say I'm enjoying my apron.  I wear it most days while I can and cook - even while I take a break.

My breaks from work usually consist of watching a video about something new to create in the kitchen.  After peeling apples this morning for applesauce I thought what a waste it is to pitch the cores and peels.  I looked up apple vinegar on yoo toob and found that vinegar is indeed made with apple cores.  Add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to 2 cups of warm water, wait for the sugar to dissolve, pour it over the cores and let it ferment.  It may sound yucky, but think about how a manufacturer makes it.  Apple cores are used by them, but we only see the end result which is in a nice clean bottle with a label.

My efforts peeling and cooking down 22 apples yielded one quart and 4 pints of applesauce.  Since this was my first effort with applesauce I was pleased with the results, but a bit discouraged with the amount of finished product I got.  Next time I will double the apples so we have enough for our three households for the winter months.

The result of today's efforts.  I got the jars at the SA for 2.99 for 7 of them.  That's less than .50 cents a jar.
My next project will be canning tomatoes or maybe turn them into sauce before I can them.  It's something to be decided when the task is at hand.  I also have beef stock simmering for a few more hours that I started on Sunday.  As soon as more jars come from my daughter's, I will can that.

I know it's politically incorrect to say I like good baloney, but I do.  When I took my break today I had a sandwich with the pickles I made this summer.  Have I told you how yummy they are.  The readers from Rochester will know what I mean when I say I found the secret to Schaller's pickles.
Do you can foods?  Did your mom or grandmother 'put up' foods?  Inquiring minds like to know.

Stay safe.


  1. As you know, I wear an apron pretty much every day. It's become habit to slip one on before getting started on any project in the kitchen. While I have done some canning, making jam, etc. (especially a few years ago), I don't do so very often nowadays. Our neighbors gifted us with a big--refrigerator sized--freezer, so I've concentrated more on freezing foods this past year or so. Thanks to a dear friend and wise woman :-) I've learned how to freeze all sorts of produce for future meals and recipes. I also buy meat in bulk for freezer storage. A whole boneless pork tenderloin, for example, can be cut into chops, stew meat and a roast for at least $1 per pound under pre-cut versions at the grocery store.

  2. I envy you the large freezer. Unfortunately it's only me here so I no longer need one. The feeling of not having to run to a store because you don't run out of things is precious. I hope you continue to be blessed with a working freezer, a working stove and a working (new) refrigerator. Oh, and knees that hold out while you are preparing all that delicious food!