Old Fashioned Food Grinder Mill ~ Making Applesauce and Choke Cherry Jelly
An old fashioned cone shaped food mill / grinding mill strainer with stand and a wooden pestle given to me by my grandmother when my husband and I moved to Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin from Houston, Texas in the 1970's was put to good use!
I made many a pint jar of home canned choke cherry jelly and quart jars were filled after making applesauce and preserving that also by water bath canning methods.
My grandmother had given us her old canning equipment and plenty of old but still useful mason jars that were in her basement.
Another type of vintage food mill was also in my possession (also a hand-me-down) but with the stand on this Wearever old fashioned aluminum food mill which nicely placed the cone strainer over bowls which would easily capture the pressed juice and ground pulp of the fruit, this became my favorite choice to use.
Old cone shaped food mill with wooden pestle
Apple Sauce Recipe
This is modern but similar to the old fashioned food mill given to me by my grandmother.
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
I practiced backyard organic gardening when my husband and I lived in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin many years ago.
That garden was terrific and produced so much nutritious and tasty food not only for the two of us but it was shared with many other people as well.
One of our good neighbors who had several acres of land and their own large garden invited me to split the purchase of several bushels of different types of apples one year. She regularly made applesauce for her family of five and it made me remember the days of my childhood when I grew up eating homemade applesauce.
Those wonderful days of opening the mason jars filled with pink hued and delicious applesauce made from the efforts of my mother came to mind.
Since I had already learned the water bath canning method of preserving home grown tomatoes after planting 43 tomato plants that first year in our garden!... I decided to start making my own applesauce as well.
Homemade applesauce is so much better than the canned or jarred varieties that one typically purchases in grocery stores.
One can adjust the sweetness and any flavorings to one's taste.
Thus my making of homemade applesauce was launched thanks to my neighbor Char, and also with gratitude to my grandma who had given us her canning and food mill equipment that she no longer intended to use.
This video below explains how to accomplish this water bath canning beautifully!
Tips for Water-Bath Canning for Dummies
I am also blessed to have an older version of this type of food mill from my grandmother.
Homemade applesauce recipe
Making homemade applesauce is so very easy!
My neighbor and I used a combination of apples. The same types that are good for pie recipes also make for great use in applesauce.
The video above shows making applesauce in a slow cooker with no water added. I simply cooked my apples with water added in a kettle after using the food mill to separate out the apple skins and seeds.
The only caveat I would suggest is to taste the applesauce first before automatically adding sugar and add any sugar gradually because it all depends upon the sweetness of the apples one is using as to how much sugar is needed to make it palatable.
For diabetics, sugar substitutes could be utilized...and again...do this "to taste."
For those who wish to see another person make and preserve applesauce from start to finish, the video below is for you.
Making and Canning Applesauce
Picking choke cherries
How to Make Jelly and Jam
Making Choke Cherry Jelly Part 1
How to Can Jam and Jelly
On our half acre lot in Wisconsin Rapids were a couple of choke cherry trees in our front yard and one in the backyard.
Those ripened chokecherries that turned from red to black as they matured attracted many birds who happily fed on them.
They also made some great tasting jelly!
Once I learned that the chokecherries were edible and also high in antioxidants, I put my grandmother's grinding mill to further use.
For those who may not be familiar with the choke cherry, it is related to regular cherries that grow much larger but the taste is somewhere between a concord grape and black cherry flavor if I were to describe it once made into jelly.
The large seed in the center takes up most of the room with the flesh of the chokecherry being minimal in comparison. The pea sized chokecherries grow in clusters.
After picking the berries, washing them and cooking them in a kettle of water, they were put through my grandmother's old fashioned cone shaped food mill.
A huge amount of seeds and skins were collected in the food mill grinder as that rich dark juice was gathered in the bowl under the mill grinder.
Chokecherries are less tart when fully ripened, but they do take quite a bit of sugar to make a good jelly out of them.
Several links are provided for exact recipes if you are fortunate enough to be able to pick your own wild chokecherries and wish to make jelly.
We actually moved several jars of my homemade chokecherry jelly back to Houston when my husband took on a new job assignment and were able to share them with our family members in Texas.
Old fashioned food grinding mill
For those who have already read about my husband's and my home in Wisconsin Rapids and our backyard organic gardening adventures, this hub about the old fashioned grinding mill given to me from my grandmother and my learning how to make my own homemade applesauce and choke cherry jelly simply rounds out some of our delights about living in the country and reaping the goodness coming from Mother Earth.
Hope you enjoyed this look back in time. We cherish those memories!
Have you ever made homemade applesauce or choke cherry jelly?
About this author...
To read a short bio and have access to many more of Peggy W's articles, CLICK HERE.
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- German Turnverein Club in Milwaukee~ Turner Clubs still exist today! Some historical perspective & their impact.
- Good Old Days of Growing Up in the 1950's in Wisconsin
- Little Norway ~ A Unique Norwegian Treasure include Nisse in Wisconsin
- Ice Fishing for Walleye ~ Portable Ice Fishing Shelter ~ Ice Fishing Videos
- Winter Outdoor Activities ~ Sledding and Tobogganing in Snow ~ Family Adventure
- Family Fun Days ~ Outdoor Activities for Kids ~ Winter Ice Skating
Old fashioned food mill and wooden pestle
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© 2011 Peggy Woods