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21  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Adventures in Apple Drying on: November 02, 2017 06:32:10 PM
Good for you! I totally recommend it.
22  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Apple Juice on: November 02, 2017 05:47:21 PM



I ran across this blog post about making apple juice from the cores and peels of apples. I knew I was going to have a ton of peels and cores and probably some chunks of apples broken when going through the peeler/corer/slicer when making dried apples and pre-cooked apple pie filling/ice cream topping. So, I saved the scraps.

The post mentioned that a crock pot could feasibly be used. I thought setting it and forgetting it sounded better than standing around a hot stove on that particular day, so I opted for that.

I could only fit about 1/2 of what I had into the crock pot. I filled it all the way to the top with apple peels, cores, and a few chunks. Then I poured in as much water as could fit. I turned the crock pot on low for about 12 hours.

This is what I woke up to after about 11 hours:


The color was nearly gone from the red/green peels! I added about 1/3 cup of sugar and let the rest of the color drain out into the juice over another hour. The post suggested adding sugar because of the parts of the apples being used.

Then, I strained the juice from the apple mush with a mesh strainer into a pitcher.


Then the juice went into pint-sized mason jars to cool more quickly. Some went right into the fridge and some went into the freezer for storage.

I would increase the sugar to a 1/2 cup or perhaps a scant 1/2 cup next time, as it is a bit bitter, but this batch is good to mix with sparkling water, other juices, and smoothies. I do plan on there being a next time. It is tasty and easy and very little extra work when you're already peeling and coring apples for other purposes.
23  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: Fall Nerd Battles 2017: September 1 - November 20, 2017 ~*Join Anytime*~ on: November 02, 2017 05:23:25 PM
Yay, us!


My dad's apple trees had a pretty good year, so get ready for apple-palooza.
Prompt: November Meet and Greets
Team: Randomizer
Bonus Points: Brain Power
Project Name: 1st dried apples
Project Link: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=453626.0
Brief Description: I used the dehydrator for the 1st time to dry some of the apples! Dang, that was easy. Definitely doing that again! I gave them to the other people in the house in person.
Project Picture:
see below

Prompt:  October Shoes
Team: Randomizer
Bonus Points: Engineering, Community
Project Name: More Dried Apples
Project Link: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=453626.0
Brief Description: Dried apples are kind of stretchy and chewy, like rubber. They taste a lot better, though! These do in particular as they were the best batch. The recipe is in the link.
Project Picture:
keep going

Prompt: October Outfit
Team: Randomizer
Bonus Points: Community
Project Name: Even More Dried Apples
Project Link: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=453626.0
Brief Description: Scarlet Witch wears red. The apple peels were green and red.
Project Picture:
Here it is:

 

Prompt: November Battle - (This is so hard... I'm gong to go with) Sci-fi
Team: Randomizer
Bonus Points: Community, Brain Power
Project Name: Apple Juice
Project Link: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=453640.0
Brief Description: Apple peels and cores and a little extra water were turned into apple juice! I have never juiced apples in or out of a crock pot before.
Don't forget to stay hydrated at Cons.
Project Picture:



Prompt: November Q&As
Team: Randomizer
Bonus Points: Engineering, Community, Brain Power
Project Name: Apple Ice Cream Topping/GF and vegan dessert side/pre-cooked pie filling
Project Link: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=453616.0
Brief Description: Using corn starch as a thickener/magic-y, candy-making-like ingredient on the stove is a technique I've never used before. As noted in the link, I consulted several recipes to come up with what I ended up doing. My recipe is in the link. Several family members have Celiacs and one is vegan as well, so I wanted something for them over the holidays. It's actually really good! I keep some out for now and shoved a bunch up in the freezer for the next couple of months.
Project Picture:
24  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Adventures in Apple Drying on: November 01, 2017 04:20:07 PM

I was inspired by some lovely dried apples I saw here on Craftster and a good-sized apple harvest from my dad's trees to try drying apples myself.


Starting from the top:

Batch #1 consisted of apples sliced with a mandolin. DO NOT THINK YOU WON'T CUT YOURSELF! As soon as I thought I wouldn't, I let my guard down. You can guess what happened next  Tongue

Non-bloodied apples went into the dehydrator for about 4 hours on low. They came out looking pretty good...

...but thin. And they weren't crispy like apple chips. Perhaps this was because it was so damp outside?

I didn't want to chance it and I like thicker, chewy dried apples, so out came the apple peeler/corer/slicer for

Batch #2.

It cut them into naked, gutted spirals, and I followed up with slicing them into halves and rounds.

They went into the dehydrator for a total of about 8 hours. I turned it on in the evening, but they weren't done by the time my eyes became sand-paper tired, so I shut the dehydrator off for the night and flipped it back on in the morning until they were dry.

This batch was the best!

But, the apple peeler/corer/slicer was kind of messy and a bit of a pain to use. Juice everywhere! Sliding around because the vacuum-clamp did not clamp! So, a knife came out for

Batch #3

I tried to slice the apples the same thickness as the peeler/corer/slicer did. I was way more successful than I thought Id's be, and kept my thumb intact  Smiley How to get the cores out of the apples, though? Yeah, I could leave them in, but I'm not a huge fan of munching on those hard bits. A knife would work for halves and rounds, but it was kind of time consuming for either. Out of this laziness, it hit me: Mini cookie-cutters! A pumpkin one was about the right shape and size.

After about 9 hours, the spirit of the pumpkin-shape was still there.



I should have checked the pumpkins after 8.5 hours, and not left them for a whole hour after checking them after 8 hours. They were a little too dry, but, if I hadn't had Batch #2, I probably would have thought these were as good as I could get. In short, they were good!


How many apples did I dry? Over 20. The 1st picture shows about 12 dried apples. There are now about 3 left and going fast  Grin

Yay for a successful 2 weekend project!

25  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Re: Printing with regular stamps, flamingos, globes with a bonus of daleks and bees on: November 01, 2017 03:45:20 PM
FLAMINGOS!!! They are all super-cool, but I have such a soft spot for flamingos.
26  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Replacement Dresses on: November 01, 2017 03:41:09 PM
Oh, wow, thank you!
27  COOKING / Dessert / Apple Pie Filling/Ice Cream Topping/GF, Vegan Dessert or Side on: November 01, 2017 07:27:40 AM

We had a good apple harvest this year. Many apples were begging to be preserved in some way. It was time to ask the Internet what to do. One answer was to turn some apples into apple pie filling that could be used in pies or on ice cream or as a sweet but not super-sweet dessert or side.




I used these recipes as starting points:
https://www.spendwithpennies.com/freezer-apple-pie-filling-4-5-pies/

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/12681/apple-pie-filling/?lnkid=usspnt

http://tasteandseegodsgoodness.blogspot.com/2009/11/homemade-apple-pie-filling.html

And ended up doing this:
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup corn starch
1/2 c lemon juice (about 1 lemon; 1/4 cup in with 1st ingredients, rest in w/ apples)
about 8 1/2 c of water (7 in 1st, then rest in w/ apples)

15 dessert(ish?) apples (Gravensteins?) +/- 5 lbs = +/- 12 cups


Put sugars, salt, cinnamon, corn starch, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 7 cups water in pot and brought to a boil over medium-high heat while whisking. What started out looking something like cinnamon-y milk turned into a thick, cinnamon-colored syrup when brought to a boil. Boiled for 2 mins. Then, syrup was poured into sliced apples in pot. Syrup seemed too thick, so added in another 2 cups of water and the other 1/4 cup of lemon juice. On medium-high heat brought it all to a boil (It took a while. The pot was pretty darn full of apple slices. See:



so it was hard to tell when it was boiling, but when there were a few bubbles on top that returned there quickly after stirring them down, I considered it a boil.) Then the apples were covered and the heat reduced to low. It was left to simmer for 7 minutes. At the end of that time, they could be forked easily without breaking and were fairly bendy but still had substance to them.



Then the pot was taken off the heat and left to cool for about an hour. The mix was then spooned into bowls to cool the rest of the way. It was good hot, but awesome once it cooled!

Some was put in the fridge to munch on while the rest is up in the freezer waiting for Thanksgiving to be served as a Gluten-free and vegan dessert option.
 

Lesson to take away: Making apple topping/pie filling on the stove is forgiving, so experiment to get the taste and texture you want with what you have on hand and in mind.
28  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: Fall Nerd Battles 2017: September 1 - November 20, 2017 ~*Join Anytime*~ on: November 01, 2017 06:19:15 AM
Neat idea, making a double-sided frame ATC, rbr.

Love the tags, LM!

Nice job on the costume, AoC! Did you make it all?
29  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / Re: Drawlloween - ATC style on: October 31, 2017 05:28:30 PM
Well, I love them. In addition to the ones I mentioned in the Games, I'm particularly fond of the monster doing its best to terrorize. Adorable! I haven't thought of that song that inspired Day 18 in years. A classic. I really like day 24. Today's is cute, too!
30  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: Fall Nerd Battles 2017: September 1 - November 20, 2017 ~*Join Anytime*~ on: October 31, 2017 05:22:59 PM
Welcome to Team Randomizer, edelC! Your fabrics are fabulous.

Congratulations, September nerds!

Smeddley, great research project! Good for you for finishing it! I particularly like the purple-haired witch, the pumpkin tower, the archaeologist.... You know, I'll just go click the project link to comment some more.
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