Butter…? From Apples..? Really..?

For the last couple of weeks, I have been having apple butter on my breakfast toast…

It all started when I collected up a bag of windfall unripe apples…before following what had been my standard previous practice and just dumping them in the compost, I did a quick Google for any recipe that might use unripe apple.I found many references to apple butter, which I had never heard of but which my American taste testers assured me was a ‘good thing’.

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Primary processing…peeling and dicing in front of TV…

It wasn’t hard to make: the greater challenge was finding a recipe that wasn’t laden with sugar; after a lot of research, I settled for this one from Allrecipes although I did replace the brown sugar with a banana and accidentally maxed out the cloves: looking into the box there didn’t appear to be much left so I just upended it into the pan – to find that there had been at least a tablespoon concealed in a  fold in the internal bag…Too late and I’ve always been keen on cloves so there was nothing for it except to see how it came out…

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All spiced up in the slow cooker…just apples, spices and a banana…

I left the skins and cores as there seemed to be some agreement that, in unripe apples, there is more goodness trapped there…apart from one lady online who was very concerned about the cyanide content of the pips!!

I left the mix to slow cook overnight and by breakfast it was like this:

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Looks icky, smells awesome…

Some of the recipes I had researched had used a food mill to separate the apple from skin, pips etc…another Google session provided education on the what, why and how of a food mill and I was able to score one off Trademe for $40, Tupperware no less!

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It didn’t come with any instructions and even with the assistance of Youtube, it took me a while to master the ‘milling’ process…once done though, I had a thick slurry of pureed apple which was bottled (probably around 600 mls total) as distributed to my taste testing team – none have died so far so I think we can put the apple pip cyanide theory safely to bed….

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First slice from a new loaf is always eaten fresh…

The apple and cloves flavour combination is pretty strong and I only apply a thin layer to my toast but I know that at least one of the taste team team cakes it on, thick as…

Simple, spicy, and using apples that would otherwise have been composted…

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background | The Daily Post

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background | The Daily Post.

I spent a number of hours (yes, really, but more as a part of concurrent activity as I waited for other things to occur e.g. keyboard buffer to clear so I could eke out a few more letters before it clogged up again; waiting for DVD Shrink to process a file so I could upload the next one etc) trawling through Picasa looking so an image that did the background thing for me.

It was a struggle because I don’t seem to have many pix where the background is even that clear let alone, has some potential meaning, message or other attraction. Finally, I managed to go firm on four examples, known from this point on as the ‘also rans’, that can be seen at the bottom of this post.

What happened was this. I export images from Picasa to a holding folder – this also adds a watermark and reduces the longest edge to 600 pixels, and also makes the image a nice web-friendly size – and from here, I drag and drop the images into my WordPress media library. As I opened up the holding folder just now, I was struck by the composition of this image of the Tupperware Terminator (my name for it, not theirs so don’t try ordering a Terminator from Tupperware – who knows what you might get!) where to me the background with our driveway and inferred different pathways left and right at top and bottom, just adds so much more (still working on more what) to the image…so here we go for ‘Background’…

DSCF6486The also rans

Thailand-Singapore Bike Ride 1988 250

1 RNZIR Thailand to Singapore Bike Ride august or September 1988 – the only thing that I rode, as tour photographer, was inside the van. I only just noticed today, almost a quarter of a century later, that I snapped myself in the foreground of the background of the foreground in this shot of the mighty Hi-Ace fording a flooded road during the monsoon…1-23-2011_032

Redcastle nestled in the background of St Kevin’s College, Oamaru where I went to school. It’s all changed now from this fairly idyllic shot (mid-90s)…anyway, if you have any problems with me, blame these guys… (just kidding!)DSCF2176

USS New Jersey in the background of this shot taken from the USS Olympia on the other side of the river. My original shot was of the gun in the foreground but after noticing the New Jersey in the background, I recomposed it and shot it again for this specific effect…DSCF5906

Vancouver, around this time last year…the floatplane in the background is the icon of that trip. I arrived late one Saturday, to find that my hotel was overbooked and that they had rebooked me for just that night in another hotel – all the way back by the airport, a 30 min odd drive at midnight – in recompense, they put me in a flasher room with a balcony on the penthouse floor, As it turned out, this was the room original reserved by our hosts for my boss whop they rebooked before he arrived into a standard room a few floors down on the other side of the hotel. When he arrived a couple of days later, I said I’d swap rooms with him but these float-plane used to glide right by his window a dozen or so times a day and he said he much preferred that to yet another view over an urban landscape…top bloke!! So I got to keep my balcony and he got to keep his fly-bys – everyone happy…