I've always wanted to preserve food by canning, but never got around to trying. Especially once I started studying up on it and found out how much work and equipment is needed to really do it right. Anyway...
About a week ago, my brother-in-law called and asked if I could use some apples. His neighbor works at a large local orchard and they have end-of-season fruit that isn't going to last much longer in storage. I said sure, bring some over, I'd make some pies or something. Well, he brought several bushels of fruit. And he's right...they're fading fast. And they're small. A real pain to peel & core for pies. (Although I have managed two pies so far with the random large fruits. I have a very happy hubby.)
After some thinking, I decided to make apple butter. Which I've never made before. And don't even like. But most of my loved ones do like it. I've done two batches now; trying out two different recipes. And I am SO geeked out by my neat little rows of glass jars. I gave everyone apple butter on Easter; I was so proud.
My dear spouse is getting a kick out of this too. We just got through his maple sugaring experiment (which went VERY well; we got several gallons of finished syrup when it was all said & done--not bad for a residential yard!) and now I've taken over the stock pot. He joked tonight that we are totally getting our money's worth out of that purchase. He also remarked this weekend that it makes him feel "all warm and homey" to see me putting up preserves. Aw. It probably helps the whole image that I've also started collecting and wearing vintage aprons. There's a post in that, too...one of these days.