The sight of the abundance of big, beautiful apples on the apple tree in my backyard, growing way up high out of reach, has been taunting me for a couple of weeks now. There is no central trunk to climb on the tree up that high and my ladder is way too short. I’ve been looking at the windfalls but the squirrels mostly get to those before I do.
I tried to convince myself that I had enough apples put up in the freezer but even I didn’t believe it. At the suggestion of a friend, I looked at those extension poles for changing light bulbs but wasn’t convinced it would work even if I wanted to pay $20 to take a chance. Then I had a great idea: my claw footed hoe.
I took the ladder and the hoe out to the tree and before I knew it, apples were raining down on all sides me. Sure, there are still come I can’t reach, but for now I have more than enough to keep me busy.
Since my freezer is full (I only have a small chest freezer), I decided that I’d can them and keep them in the pantry. I prepared the apples with the sugar and spices and packed them in quart jars, leaving an inch of headroom, then did the water bath. I got four quarts out of the batch I did yesterday afternoon and all seemed well. But this morning…
When I checked that the lids had sealed properly – they were sucked in – there were sticky lines on the outsides of the jars which I would not have expected since they came out of the water bath and ought to have been clean. There was some sticky residue under the rings as well, in spite of the lids seemingly being on tight. What is up? If they boiled over then the lids won’t have sealed properly, correct? I am reluctant to do any more canning until I figure out what I did wrong with this batch.
For now I’ve wiped the jars off and turned them upside down on saucers so I can see if anything seeps out…