A few Saturdays ago, we made and bottled Apple Pie Filling until 9:30 p.m. (see below for a great recipe given to me by my best friend, Kelli). We were pretty exhausted, the husband and I because you see, we had been up since 3 a.m. (a story for another time). But the last batch we made was beautiful! We cleaned up the canning kitchen (which is in our basement), mopped the floors and turned out the lights. As we were preparing for bed, one of the smoke detectors started chirping because the battery was almost dead.
This may be as good a time as any to explain that we had already removed 3 dead batteries (from the 5 total smoke detectors in our home) and had never replaced them. That annoying chirping when the battery dies ALWAYS starts in the middle of the night causing one to lose sleep waiting...for...the...next...beep!!! AARRGGHH! And of course, once one has had a good night's sleep, one never thinks to replace the battery, because that would require going to the store and buying some 9 volt batteries, which one never happens to have just laying around.
Back to the story: We promptly removed the battery from the second-to-last working smoke detector (ensuring an uninterrupted night of rest!), said our prayers (thanking God for safety and protection, of course...all the while He's shaking His head, I'm sure..) and went to sleep.
At 1 a.m., we awake to the blare (NOT a chirp or beep) of the last working smoke detector screaming that there is a problem! Remember the old movies about how to be safe in a fire? You are supposed to feel your door to see if it's hot, right? Who remembers that when the alarm is piercing your groggy brain? My husband flings open the door and 3 feet of smoke billows in on the ceiling. Suddenly I remember that I forgot to turn off the hot water bath with the last batch of Apple Pie Filling!!
We were lucky...the water had burned off and 3 bottles had burst, allowing the apples and sugar to start smoking and were able to get it out the door before it started to burn!
So take it from me, folks...when the time changes, CHANGE THE BATTERIES IN YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS!!! And here's another little life lesson: Don't Google "smoking pot picture" if you are looking for an image of a burning pan in the kitchen...
Now to the good stuff! Here's the recipe for bottled Apple Pie Filling (thanks, Kelli!)
24 pounds (1/2 bushel) Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Mix together: 5 c. water, 6 c. sugar, 12 T cornstarch and 3 T cinnamon. Heat and stir until clear (it will still be brown, but not opaque). Add sliced apples and stir just 'til hot. Pour into jars and process in hot water bath for 25 minutes (REMEMBER TO TURN OFF THE STOVE WHEN FINISHED).
To make a pie: Pour into pie crust and bake 45 minutes at 425 degrees.