Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I took some pictures so get excited, already.

There was yesterday when I was all, "I don't know what to talk to you fuckers about because I don't have any pictures to tell me what's going on in my life." and then proceeded to tell you about how my dog eats dead animals in Tahoe because that's what I had for pictures.

Not the dead animal eating, but Tahoe.

You know. You were there.

And now there's today when I have some pictures to remind me that yes, I stayed up late last night canning apple pie filling even though I hardly need photos to tell me that I'm exhausted and there's a weird sticky spot in my hair that lingers on even though I keep brushing at it and swearing.

Let me back the truck up a bit...

See, my neighbors are really nice people, y'all. These are the ones who brought such joys into my life as the tomato tunnel, group mulch hauling and The Apple Machine. Obviously they are people to be hugged regularly and given lavish gifts of microbrews from the beer fridge and good wine in The Big Glasses.

Well, to continue down their path to neighborly sainthood, they also delivered unto us (that's how people say it, right?) a big ass box of apples from their tree. Which, YAY!, right?

This isn't the monster box. This is only what was left after canning the damn pie filling. Yes, "damn" and "sainthood" can be mentioned in the same post. As can "fuck" and "shit". This is a big caption.

Normally, yes, it would be YAY! I'm going to can apple pie filling this weekend to give as gifts at the holidays because I'm not sewing shit this year! YAY! except that I'm going to be out of town again this weekend and oh I don't really need a monster box of apples going rapidly bad and fruit fly-y in my kitchen.

No, I don't need that in my life.

So, because I'm delusional and don't have proper understanding of the limits of time and space, I decided that oh well I guess that means I'm going to can this apple pie filling during the week after work and dog walking and dinner making and dinner eating and cocktail hour and wait, I think I just ran out of hours.

But I thought that if I sliced apples one night (with the help of The Apple Machine who I love) while watching the Giants summarily quash the hopes and dreams of all Atlanta fans (stopped your damn chopping, didn't we? Oh yes.)  and then went to the hardware store for jars another night and then did the actual canning yet another night - well, I could successfully turn these apples into canned pie filling before they turned to garbage can filling in my kitchen.

Um, kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Sounds iffy, but I'll try it.

Go Giants.
Go Apple Machine.
Go Me.
Yeah. Around 10:30 last night I surveyed my destroyed kitchen, took one look at the clock on my range and let out a dramatic, "Boo on you clock. It is not 10:30pm. That is incorrect. Stop your lying."

Which awoke Bubba from the couch and touched off a brief conversation about my abusive relationship with inanimate objects.

Anyway, whatever, because I made it through 2/3 of the monster box of apples, canned 6 quarts of apple pie filling and cleaned up the kitchen before I took my sticky ass to bed.

ROMANCE. Yes, it is alive in our home.

Oh, but I didn't tell you that when I had gathered all my ingredients, materials, recipe and tools from the four corners of my universe (one corner being Orchard Supply Hardware because my life is very glam), I re-read the recipe for the one hundredth time and noticed that OH the fucking thing says that it takes TWO quarts of this legendary pie filling to make ONE 9 inch pie. Which isn't all that handy of a gift to give someone.

"Happy whatever holiday you celebrate! Please to enjoy these TWO ungainly and heavy jars of pie filling which I made all by meself and which you can use to make ONE measly pie! Bye now! Don't leave doody on my front doorstep!"

Yeah, it's no kind of gift.

But, what was I to do?

I didn't absorb this fine detail until after I'd gone to OSH for my dozen QUART jars even though when I went to pick up the flat of quarts I accidentally, at first, grabbed the flat of HALF GALLON jars (you know that two quarts makes a half gallon, right, because it does.) and then, after being all WHOOPSY! Better get the quarts, dummy, came home and ripped the plastic free of the quart-sized jar flat so that I could caress the pretty new unscratched jars while I memorized the recipe and OH WAIT this isn't what I had in mind at all.

*Sigh* It was a dramatic moment in my world of canning shit.

Well, what I did was call an audible at the line. Which, if you're any kind of sports fan or absent-minded cook, means that you assessed the new issue at hand and changed your plan to suit your current situation.

Let me say that if I were a dude and physically inclined in the football-type way, I'd make a fine quarterback. Or, at least a decent offensive line coach because I can call an audible like a fucking pro. Watch out, Solari, I'm gunning for your job!

Not really. I wouldn't want to take on that mess.

For my big call though...

I decided that this apple pie filling would be RUSTIC apple pie filling which OH YES requires only the one quart of filling and YAY AGAIN but this time for the recipient, only requires the one pie crust. So, no rolling out two circles of pie crust for a covered pie because in RusticLand you just roll out the one crust, pour in your filling, fold up the edges, bake it in the oven for a while and go out to the back 40 to chop wood or whatever it is that Rustic people do in RusticLand while they're waiting on their Rustic It Only Takes One Quart Apple Pie to finish baking.


Did you get all that?

I'm about to Rustic UP this place.

Basically, I made 6 quarts of apple pie filling from one monster box of apples given unto us (see! again! Has it stopped being funny? Really, you can say.) by our neighbors and will give BACK to them and some other fine people at the holidays with a tag recipe for Rustic Apple Pie using the one quart of filling.

Neato burrito patio mosquito. (If you know this reference in its bastardized form then, whoa.)

Because of the weirdness and convolution of this whole thing though, I will now only be giving away 5 quarts of this pie filling because I feel compelled to test try it out on our household before inflicting my apple drama gift on others. So, keep an eye peeled for a post entitled, "Rustic Garbage Can Filling" or something similar.

Aren't we glad I had something to talk about today?

Yeah. I know.


  1. The MiL made an apple pie a couple of days ago (all gone now--and may I just say that if you ever come across an apple variety called Greenings, buy them and make pie with them because YUMMY) and made a one-crust kind of pie with the leftover filling and pastry. Except she just made it a top crust. And it was still really good, so the lucky recipients I'm SURE will have no trouble making a delicious dessert with your awesome gift.

    P.S. There is nothing quite so daunting as the state of the kitchen after you've already done a shitload of work to make and can the food that made the mess. Boo.

  2. I'm not sure why but reading this made me scared. ??

  3. Yo Finny (aka Twisted Melon Sister),

    How ironic that *this* post would immediately follow a similar (Apple Pie Filling) post from Growing a Greener World on my newsreader.

    My espaliered apple tree actually produced a halfway decent harvest this year. Prob'ly enough for ONE pie. Next year, I'll try to "can a freaking truckload of apple-pie-filling" when my tree produces a truckload of apples...

    Nevertheless, Enquiring Minds Want to Know: What have you done with the Demon Crop of Jelly Melons?

    I am Jelly-Melon-less, as you know (@#$@ing snails!). So I must live vicariously through you! How did they turn out? Are they edible? Are they pie-able???

    Do Tell!

    Also - alas - I never heard back from you (unless my Spam-Filter got you!). I'd sent you an email about our Adventures with the Flying Dutchman at Schiphol Airport in Amsterheck. I was green w/envy regarding your trip to Oktoberfest and was eager to share some of our un-documented Travel Tips... Did you get that particular missive?

    I have to settle for a Local Celebration @ Teske's in downtown SJ :::sigh:::

    Anyhoooo... Thanks for sharing the "Apple Pie Debacle" - I think I may decide to duplicate your endeavors with (gasp!) store-bought produce this year!

  4. I swear, most of the time when I read your posts I have to remind myself that we are two different people. Today Jeff will come home to find me chanting, "I am not Finny. I am not Finny." The reason? I've got 12 quarts of apple pie filling that I canned sitting on my counter. I've been meaning to post, just haven't gotten around to it. And I started to use that exact same recipe that you did, but then at the last minute changed my mind and adapted a Cook's Illustrated one.
    Because if I do all that work, I want a guarantee that it will be perfect.
    Also, I didn't even think of using half gallon jars! How perfect that would have been, because (not at all surprisingly) I was bothered by the idea of giving two jars as Christmas presents too.

  5. You just crack. me. up. Sticky bitch. Oh, and I have a plethora of apples, so why am I getting my filling from a can at the grocery? Care to share your rustic recipe so the rest of us can be as cool as you?

  6. You are funny. I read your post regularly and giggle to myself the entire time (like a crazy person?).

    I have a bucket of apples that I'd love to give you and I will be in San Francisco tomorrow at a Stem Cell Research Luncheon. No laughing.

    If you want them, we can rendezvous. I am friends with Nici (digthischick) via her best friend Paige. Small world and I was supposed to meet her the same weekend you met up with her, but got stuck drinking too much at book club and missed the whole meeting. Damn.

    Anywho, thanks for your fun blog. Love it.

  7. Hey Tammi - sorry about this weekend - I'm actually going up to Napa with the ladies so won't be in town to scoop up your extra apples. Though - I have half a flat of quart jars that could really use RUSTIC apple pie filling ;)

    Maybe next time Dig is in town, the 3 of us can rendezvous?

  8. Rustic is the way to go, baby. I'd like a slice now please.

  9. "It was a dramatic moment in my world of canning shit." Laughed out loud; I have had A LOT of these this canning season...and I dread canning apples (the peeling, slicing, coring, ugh).

  10. Yay! Up at teh ass crack with Ruby and three day-old apple sauce is simmering on the stove behind me. I am all about making it one day, canning it another. It seems to take a fraction of the time and energy that doing it all in one feel, hot swoop does. I left the peels on cause the apples were tiny and peeling them would have been swear-worthy. Hope it turns out as I rustic UP this place.

  11. This year I'm looking to do something like this as gifts. I was thinking of knitting mitts and giving them alongside of something like this. However I doubt most of my friends will ever have the ambition to actually make a pie. I was wondering if you had anymore ideas similar to this? thanks!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.