Crossing the Canning Border

Apple Juice.JPG

Quarts of Apple Goodness


I think this week I finally crossed the border from “canning the produce season” into “using the canned goods season”. I finally dealt with the cooler full of apples that has been standing by my kitchen counter for the last two weeks. My excuse for procrastinating was they (the apples) looked like they needed a little more ripening……I am sticking with that excuse.

I really do like the season of harvesting the garden produce and preserving it for use in the coming year.  It always seems like somewhat of a race to beat the weather, the bugs, the heat, the “girls” (my chickens, for those of you who are first time visitors here), and the voles that seem to love burrowing in my garden and eating the things like potatoes and carrots.

Today I finished those apples and turned them into beautiful quarts of apple juice. I always need to be sure to have juice on hand for when my grandbabies come. It is one of their favorite things about coming to the Chicken Grandma’s house. (it ranks right behind chasing chickens, picking up rocks, throwing rocks, taking a bath in the big claw-foot tub, having tea parties and following Grandpa around).

As I washed those canned jars of juice it occurred to me that once again I would be needing to move a few things around in my pantry. I headed over that way and moved empty jars (yes I still have some) around to make room for the full jars. Pamela at BeeOrganizedWithPamela would be so proud of me for re-organizing the pantry!!

In moving things around I made a disturbing discovery.  There were “signs” that a small gray furry critter decided to cross the border from outside and come on in. I am not sure why this critter decided it was time to change his address and go house hunting.  Perhaps because we had frost on the ground this morning?

I am not sure why the event of the mouse migration always takes me by surprise. We do live in an old farmhouse.  Any small crack in the foundation is pretty much an entrance gate for mice with an invisible sign over – “Come on in and make yourself at home.” This seems to be an annual event.

It will definitely be time to put my husband’s trapping skills to work. I have given up trapping these invaders myself as I am quite sure they gain weight when I put out traps. For some reason my traps tend to turn into peanut butter self-feeders for rodents. Last year when we had this same issue I am pretty sure we ended up with obese mice roaming the pantry….until my husband took over the job. It made me wonder how large one could actually get?

I told my husband it is definitely job security for him. His comeback comment, “Well I am good for something…..trapping mice, killing spiders and opening pickle jars.”  He actually is really good at those tasks.  He laughs when he says this and so do I.

For those of you who would like to try canning

Apple Peels and Cores.JPG

Peels and Cores

apple juice I have included the recipe below.
I tend to use the peels and cores from the apples
and use the rest of the apple for applesauce or
apple pie filling.  That way I get the most out of
my apples.  I hate to see anything go to waste! When I am done with the peels and cores they go to the girls. They love to finish off whatever is left.




Canned Apple Juice
Cream of Tartar
White Sugar
Wash apples before beginning.
Cut whole apples into thin slices, or use the peels and cores from apple baking
or apple canning projects.
Red apples peels will add a lovely pink color to the juice.
Measure the amount of apple pieces and put them into a large crock, plastic, or stainless steel container. Do
not use aluminum or porous metal as it will give a metallic taste.
Bring to a boil an equal amount of water.
Add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar for each quart of boiling water.
Stir and pour  over the apple pieces.
Cover and let stand for 24 hours.
Pour juice off the apple pieces into a large container, squeezing pieces in a cheesecloth.
Measure juice into a heavy cooking pot.
Add 3/4 cup white sugar for every 2 quarts of juice.
Bring juice to a boil.
Pour into jars and process in hot water bath for 25 minutes for quarts.

For now the shelves are clean, stocked and ready for the “eat the canned produce season”. There is only one small problem. I still do have some empty jars…….I wonder if I can get my hands on one or two more 5 gallon buckets of apples?

And she prepares for herself her bread from the summer
and she stores her food at harvest.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English

41 thoughts on “Crossing the Canning Border

    • thechickengrandma says:

      LOL. I wish you lived closer. I would can stuff for you! And the mice with an old house is kind of a fact of life but I don’t think I will ever get used to it. I am going to try using peppermint oil in my diffuser this season and see if that repels them. Supposedly they don’t like the smell.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deb says:

        Aw thanks, how sweet of you! I wish I lived closer too!! I don’t think I would ever get used to mice either. That’s a great idea about the peppermint, it’s natural and non-harmful. I hope it works. Let’s hope they don’t develop a liking for the scent!! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. marijo1245 says:

    Oh the lovely mice. We had an overabundance of the sweet darlings when we had the chickens. The scratch went straight from feed store into 5 gallon buckets with tight fitting lids. Those critters are crafty.

    My mom used to make us homemade apple juice (homemade apple everything). It was a treat! What memories are made on the farm!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. retirizer says:

    I love seeing your photos of your canning endeavors. Please post a photo of your pantry all full of your delicious “fruits” of your labors. There are 2 things I wish I wanted to learn, canning and sewing. I’ve always admired people who can do these things, I wish I wanted to learn how to do them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      My mom used to sew all of our clothes when I was a kid. She even made my sister’s prom dress. I never caught on to that art other than sewing jammies for my boys when they were little.
      I will have to take a photo of the pantry in a couple weeks. Then I will know for sure that no one else will be bringing me more produce :).


  3. thecobweboriumemporium says:

    ..wondering if I could don a ‘mouse outfit’ and sneak into the house with a swag bag to fill up with canned goodies to bring home.
    hmmm… I must give this more thought.

    GREAT post, Chicken. Fabulous read from start to finish (and I didn’t want it to stop). Good luck with those little rodents.
    ~ Cobs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. PaperPuff says:

    It must be so satisfying to see those full shelves! don’t worry about Cobs doing a raid, I don’t think she’ll get past border control in that outfit!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      It is satisfying!
      I laughed…..hard about the visual image of Cobs getting past border control in a mouse outfit. If she ever does give that a try I sure hope someone catches it on video. I am sure it would be a new You tube sensation!

      Liked by 1 person

      • thecobweboriumemporium says:

        Well you pair of rascals! I amost feel like doing it now just to show you. [sticks tongue out and waggles it]

        Although mind … knowing my luck they’d make me strip down, in full gaze of the general public, while they put the rubber gloves on to ‘check me over’. EEEEEK!

        Ok, as one Ron Moody once said (sang) … I’m reviewing the situation … I think I’d better think it out again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thecobweboriumemporium says:

        “more famous”???
        I’m FAMOUS? Where’s the money? That’s what I want to know. WHERE is all the money I’m supposed to get from being Famous?

        Simon Cowell better watch out. I have this wonderful idea for a talent contest, and it would blow his two bit show right out of the water! [winks]

        of course ... that’s once this missing money for being famous turns up.
        Until then I shall tootle on, being unfamous and enjoying myself doing so. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Margie says:

    Hi Chicken Grandma. I’m ‘Grandma in the Red House’. Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog recently! I don’t have chickens or apples, but I do have mice. They like to come in from the cold this time of year. My husband is the ‘keeper of the traps’ too. He uses a plastic trap called “The Better Mouse Trap”, baited with peanut butter. We have at least one in every room – ‘overkill’ perhaps, but we haven’t had a mouse on the pantry shelf in a long time!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Linda says:

    Tell Larry you need to get some cats…they work wonders. Also, mix the peanut butter with a cotton ball and jam in the hole of the trap. that way they need to pull to get the peanut butter. But if it works for Larry to set the traps that is even better:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In The Autumn Of My Life says:

    This year was all about the herbs for me. I am wondering whether I should add some jam making or similar to my C.V. next year? All these canning etc posts and talk of pantries makes me feel quite nostalgic to say nothing about my own recent woodland adventure. Faye, I think you are having an effect lol! I would make some wine but I am teetotal!

    Liked by 1 person

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