My sister has a wonderful house on a little over an acre in southwest Wichita. The yard came with a huge producing pear tree, a Jonathan apple, a couple of cherry trees and a few crab apple trees. Being someone who loves to cook, I could not bear to see that fruit go to waste. So I was constantly looking up recipes. I made apple pie, apple strudel, apple jelly, and pear-ginger butter. In between taking care of the baby, oh my gosh, there was so many more important things to do than pack!
I also tried to keep food prepared for the tired mommy and daddy. Being in Kansas, there was lots of meat and pork to be had. Daddy spent a good deal of his adult life in eastern Idaho so potatoes were a must. Mommy and I tried to make large batches of stews, spaghetti, stir-fries and more. But with so many stomachs to feed, and mommy needing extra calories to nurse, it was hard to keep food for long. Thankfully we live in a time where the grocery store is a quick trip away and many prepared foods can be found eliminating cooking time.
I would like to share some tips for those who have thoughts of making apple jelly. It takes a long, long, time. I used an old version of Fanny Farmer for the basic recipe. These recipes were not written with modern juicers in mind. I would recommend running the apples through a juicer before cooking. We cooked the apples but afterward had to run them through a sieve. Just cooking juiced apples would take a lot of time off the process. Now the pear-ginger butter was an old fashioned recipe but this time we used the Champion Juicer to reduce the pears to mush in order to cook them quicker.
The apple pie was not so great, it was made with a store brand frozen crust that was horrible. A Pillsbury roll-out crust found in the cold section near butter was much better. Thanks to my friend Michael, a trained chef, who gave me that tip. Previously, I would have tried to make the crust from scratch. With a baby in the house, there is just not the time to dedicate to something so time consuming. Apple strudel was the most successful treat. By this time I had rejected Fanny Farmers which I had used for years. The apple strudel recipe came right off the pastry dough web site. It turned out so delectable, I highly recommend it. My sister does have internet service with a wireless modem. That made recipe look-ups easy and easier to cook with the instructions right by your side.
Here is the apple jam final product with some of the sample Jonathan apples