Monday I was up bright and early. I had noticed that apples were falling from the tree, the bean vines were starting to die out, and the corn was ready to harvest among other things. I headed to the garden and returned to the house with my two biggest totes full of produce. I started with the apples. They all had bad spots in them which is usually why they fall from the tree early. I spent a good part of the day pealing, coring, cutting out all the bad spots and chopping them up into lemon water to keep them from browning. I then had enough to make a nice batch of chunky apple sauce.

Spicy cinnamon apple sauce

17 to 20 cups of chopped apples

1 tablespoon Saigon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon hot sauce

Liquid stevia drops to taste

If apples are not tart enough you can add some lemon juice to taste

1 cup water.

In a large stock pot put apples and water on a medium heat burner. Stir often as the apples break down and get saucy. I like to leave chunks of apples in mine. If you like it less chunky you can use a potato masher or run it through a strainer of some kind to remove the lumps. Once the apples are soft and it is more sauce than chunks add the other ingredients, tasting to be sure you have it the way you like it. (This is my favorite part of making applesauce.)  If you want to add a more buttery flavor and not so spicy you can leave out the hot sauce and add a little salt.

Fill jars leaving a 1 inch head space, run a knife or spatula around the jar to release air bubbles, clean the lip of your jar so that when you run your finger around it you don’t feel anything but a smooth surface. Put lids on according to manufacturer’s instructions and process at 10 lbs pressure for 10 minutes.

Between the Saigon Cinnamon and the hot sauce this tastes a lot like the red hot applesauce my grandma used to make me without all the sugar and food coloring. You can add more or less hot sauce depending on your preferences. You can also make it without the hot sauce and add a little salt and maybe some nutmeg for an apple pie flavor. If you like things pure and simple you can make it with just the apples and water. Flavoring your applesauce can be fun just use your imagination and let your creative juices flow.

When the applesauce was processing I started shelling my black soup beans. We are blessed with an over abundance of these and I have put in a lot of time in my favorite rocker shelling beans this week.

Tuesday morning I started a batch of smokey bean soup.

I grabbed a couple 1 cup bags of frozen celery, onions, and carrots and put them all in my big stock pot to simmer until they were well carmelized. I then added my 3 and a half quarts of beans I had shelled and dumped them in the pot and filled the pot with water. I let this cook and made a corn cakes with kale, jalapeno, corn and salsa in it. Once the soup had been boiling for 30 minutes I put it in jars and canned it, holding some back for our supper with the corn cakes I made. 10 lbs pressure for 1 hour. While it was processing and any other little wait times I was shelling beans for the next day.   

Wednesday morning I had 3 quart jars full of beans and corn to cut off the cob. I did a garden walk about and found some nice pablano and king of the north peppers in the garden. I had discovered that some of my onions in the root cellar were spoiling so I needed to do something with what was good of them.  I decided to make one of Duane’s favorites, Nacho Soup. After my dicing, shelling and before slicing the corn off the cob I headed to a friends house to figure out what chores she wanted me to do for her later in the week. She blessed me with some beautiful tomatoes. I was out of pint jars and while I was learning the chores her wonderful husband found a place in Warsaw that had pint jars for less than 9 dollars a dozen lids included. I headed that way and bought 12 dozen jars. Hopefully that will keep me in jars for a long time. Hard to tell with all the soup beans and wanting to can mock cheese sauce when the sweet potatoes are done.

When I got home it was a little after noon and I had a lot of work to do before the end of my day. I scalded my tomatoes and started the Nacho soup in my big stock pot.

Nacho soup.

4 pablano peppers diced

4 large sweet peppers diced

4 onions diced

3 cloves minced garlic

6 to 8 cups of corn cut off the cob

3 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix

I tablespoon of salt less if you are sodium restricted.

3 quarts of shelled beans

3 quarts of water

1 gallon of tomatoes pealed and chopped.

In a 3 gallon or larger stock pot start half of the first quart of water to boil then add the peppers, onions. Let this cook down, stirring occationally, to where the water is almost cooked away and there is a little carmelizing around the edges. Then add the other ingredients and bring to a boil.  Once it has boiled for 30 minutes put in your jars. Remember to use the good canning practices of air bubble removal, cleaning rim etc. and can on 10 lbs pressure for 60 minutes.

Thursday I was exhausted and needed to get some rest. The long days and short nights were catching up with me. I did make an apple crisp. I had a couple jars that did not seal so I took them out of the refridgerator, put the quart jars into pints and then took all the lids off and wiped them down good and put new lids on them. With the lid shortage I have been reusing my lids and usually end up with a few that don’t seal. I then put new lids on them and put them in a cold canner with cold water in it. I turned my burner on low and did not put the lid on the canner until I started seeing some steam come up out of it. I then covered it and waited for a good amount of steam coming out of where you set the pressure weight. I then put the weight on and turned the burner up to the higher temp that I use to get my canner up to pressure. I used this lower temp process to keep the cold jars from breaking with a quick change in temperature.  Before calling it a day I went to the garden and dug one barrel of my sweet potatoes and found a head of cauliflower and several secondary heads of broccoli. I cleaned and chopped them to be ready for the next day. Thursday night as I got ready for bed I saw an add for cement blocks around 70 some for $40 dollars.  I contacted the man and actually got them before someone else.

Friday I was on a mission. I took the prepared sweet potatoes and other ingredients and put together a large batch of my mock cheese sauce I shared in my blog chroniclesofthewadehomestead.com on August seventh. I then went to pay for the block and see what I needed to do to get them out of this man’s yard. I was so blessed as this man explained how his wife was fighting heart trouble. I told him about how God was with Duane and I when he went through his heart attack and prayed for this man and his wife. I love how the Holy Spirit orchestrates little opportunities and nudges us to share what God has done in our lives. What a blessing it is to recall his faithfulness and give others hope as they walk out their own journey.

Friday evening when Duane got home the canner was done, supper was ready and after supper we went and got the cement block. I was pleasantly surprised that the man had them all moved up to his driveway and all we had to do was park on the street and load them up. I am so thankful for my strong and hard working husband who did the majority of the work. I helped but took it easy not wanting to hurt my back. He also did all the mowing this week which was greatly appreciated. Bonus back rubs and the encouragement to rest he gave me when my days got long made me feel loved and appreciated. Duane Wade in the little and big things you will always be my hero.

Sometime this week I was able to get a hold of the cider mill and set an appointment to have apples pressed into cider. I love going there and am looking forward to seeing everyone at the mill. It has been a few years. I am so thankful for the good apple year and the discovery of another apple tree to help meet the bushel requirements for cider pressing and add more variety to the flavor.

Saturday Mr. Wade was my super hero. We went out to the barn foundation and hooked the tow strap to the old dump truck and I pulled it out to the driveway while he steared it. I then pulled it a bit faster as Mr. Wade got it started and headed out to the gravel pit. He got a load of river rock and brought it back. I had gotten the ground at the right slope in the flower bed under the bell tower while he was gone and was laying out the 6 mil plastic when he returned with the river rock. He helped me finish putting the plastic down and then started a rhythm of bringing me wheel borrow loads of river rock as I spread it out. It was a hot day and we took frequent breaks and drank lots of water while we worked. We got this one done and also finished filling in the walkway to the chicken coup and under the peach tree with river rock. The clover we planted beside this walk way is starting to really look like clover in places and I am hopeful for a big patch of bee food to be established before fall. We also discovered that there is definitely another group of bees living in the east side of our garage between the inner and outer wall. The whole side of the garage was a buzzzzzzzz. All these bees from a little sighed prayer one week. I am blessed above and beyond measure.

This morning while getting ready to start working my step-daughter texted and asked me to come take care of my grands. They need to go and say good bye to her husbands brother before he wakes up with Jesus. I will be leaving Tomorrow for Illinois in the evening hopefully missing the heavy traffic.

While shelling beans this week I have gotten in some good worship, bible listening, and TV watching time. One day in the middle of a movie, my heart was impressed with a beyond my normal understanding of how blessed I am, of how God in his infinite wisdom allows the good and what we perceive bad in our lives to help us more fully understand him. In a flash memories came to the front of my mind of how He had taken the many really bad things that had happened in my life and worked a good thing in my heart. I was setting there with tears of joy shelling beans with a new awareness of how truly blessed I am in Him and here on the Wade Homestead. God is truly good when we trust and fallow Him.