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Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I decided that for my in-laws this year, I was making homemade presents. At first, I thought I would do breakfast basket. Get gourmet pancake mixes, syrups, cocoas and coffees. Once I priced that all out, I realized I could get them that or a piece of Tiffany’s jewelry! I then decided on apple pie. Why? It’s delicious, All – American and it didn’t sound too hard. I decided I would can apple pie filling and package it with a pie plate, a pie server, and some other brilliant pie serving accessories. I even went to the local ceramics studio and painted coordinating plates.
I borrowed all of the canning gear from a co-worker who assured me it is simple! I read over the directions that came with my jars (P.S.- Wal-mart as an entire canning aisle!) and went about canning. I peeled, sliced and cored 6 lbs of apples. I followed the directions for the liquid. So far, so good! I then attempted to lift the giant canning pot, which was filled with water from the sink to the stove. OMG! I need to up my gym time, apparently. Once I did that (and only spilled half the water!), I loaded the jars in the pot to sterilized. Since science isn’t my strong suit, I completely forgot that the jars would displace some water and overflow onto the stove top. Ugh! Clean up time! I finally got the right amount of water and boiled the jars away. Lifting the jars out of the pot once they were filled with boiling water was comical. Just a side note- wear shoes. My poor toes had a ton of boiling water dropped on them. I placed the apple pie filling in the jars and put them back on the rack. I lowered the jars into the pan and watched with HORROR as one floated. FLOATED?!?! I panicked and called my friend Jen, who assured me that filled jars cannot float. I watched my rogue jar bob away in the rolling boil. Oh well, that one bit the dust. After the jars were processed, they seem air tight. I made a pie using the filling for us (nothing like a test run for botulism!) on Saturday and we are all still intact.
I hope that my in-laws appreciate their gifts. Literally- burns, sweat and tears went into them!

I will post pictures once I get the plates from the ceramic studio and the gifts are all packaged.! 

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