Sunday, November 1, 2015

Bean counting, more applesauce and checking up on the Christmas cake

The clocks went back one hour last night putting us back on Standard Time which means we got an extra hour's sleep! Yes!! It's wonderful waking up knowing you can roll over and snuggle under the covers for another whole hour.

So, fully refreshed on a bright sunny morning, I decided it was high time to finally finish shelling the beans I had harvested weeks ago and which have since been sitting in a colander drying on my dining room table all this time.

The two Mason jars to the right of the colander contain the beans I have shelled to-date: a half-pint jar each of the Grandma Rose beans and the Alubia di Tolosa beans. The unshelled pods in the colander are all Alubia di Tolosa.

Final tally: one half-pint jar of Grandma Rose and about 1 pint of Alubia di Tolosa. Not enough on their own to make up a canning project, so I think I may supplement with some dry beans bought from the Bulk Barn.

I am still undecided about growing shelling beans in the future. It seems to be a lot of input for relatively little output and the only way I think I can have enough yield to make it worthwhile is to dedicate the entire garden to beans for one year similar to what I did this year with the tomatoes. I'll park this thought for a while and mull it over through the winter and see how I feel come the spring.

Next up was a check of the Christmas cake. It's been two weeks since I wrapped it up and put it away and I wanted to see how it was curing. So, I brought it down out of the cupboard and carefully unwrapped it down to the cheesecloth.

The cheesecloth was barely damp, so it was definitely time to top it up!

I mixed a quarter-cup total of brandy and dark rum...

... and poured it over the cake dampening the cheesecloth once more. Then I carefully re-folded the aluminum foil around the cake, squeezing it gently to seal, popped the cake back into the plastic bag, resealing it with the twist-tie and put it back in the cupboard. We'll check it again in another 2 weeks, but so far, so good! It's coming along well.

Finally, I tackled another batch of apples and made some more applesauce, but this time I used one of Marisa's recipes from Food in Jars and made her Pumpkin Pie Spiced Applesauce. I ended up with almost 7 pints and for the first time in a while, I had a couple of jars that did not seal, so I will be enjoying applesauce on my morning yogurt & cereal most days this coming week and that is definitely not a bad thing!

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