- Food and Cooking
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. That was when my husband and I moved to Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin from Houston, Texas in the 1970s. It was definitely put to good use!
I made many a pint jar of home canned choke cherry jelly.
Quart jars were filled after making applesauce. Preservation was done by using 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 given to me from my family.
The stand on this Wearever old fashioned aluminum food mill nicely placed the cone strainer over bowls which could easily capture the pressed juice and ground pulp of the fruit. This became my favorite choice to use.
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 we shared it 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.
I am also blessed to have an older version of this type of food mill from my grandmother.
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 when making applesauce.
The first video above shows making applesauce in a slow cooker with no water added.
I simply cooked my apples with a little 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. 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. 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.
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. The taste is somewhere between a concord grape and black cherry flavor if I were to describe the flavor 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 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.
We moved several jars of my homemade chokecherry jelly back to Houston when my husband took on a new job assignment. We were able to share them with our family members in Texas.
We enjoyed our four years living in central Wisconsin. I particularly enjoyed my backyard gardening adventures.
Learning how to make my own homemade applesauce and choke cherry jelly was fun. I also canned numerous quart jars of tomatoes reaping the goodness coming from our garden and Mother Earth.
Looking back I cherish the memories of those days!
Have you ever made homemade applesauce or choke cherry jelly?
© 2011 Peggy Woods