My lovely crab apples, the ones I so lovingly picked out to can whole in a spicy-sweet pickle, burst their skins.
I followed the recipe just so–washing them and individually pricking each with a needle. But PFB calls for pricking them with a darning needle, and shucks (hey, I could’ve said darn), I don’t have one. I used a sewing needle, which apparently was not wide enough.
Which reminds me of a fairly amusing story related to me by a friend who shall remain nameless:
She was invited, after a few years here at the U., to a meeting of the Faculty Women’s Club. Advised to bring her knitting, she explained that she does not, in fact, knit. Or sew. Or quilt. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
“That’s OK honey,” said her matronly sister-in-arms, “You can always bring your darning.”
Anyhow, back to the crab apples. They were so lovely, so perfect. And then they exploded. But I’m canning them anyway, because regardless of their squashy, less-than-perfect looks, they taste DIVINE!
Other deviations from the Putting Food By recipe: a whole nutmeg I sawed in half with a kitchen knife instead of the blade mace they call for, and about a third apple cider vinegar and the rest distilled white, instead of the all-cider vinegar called for in the recipe.
And here they come, in all their squashy glory, out of the canner now:
Well, they’re still pretty, and all the jars sealed, too. This afternoon (I think): crab apple jelly with the rest of the not-so-perfect fruits. If it’s as pink as this pretty project, I’ll be ecstatic.