17 September 2009

Spreading the joy of ‘good work’

I enjoy the satisfaction of ‘making stuff’. I really like seeing the juice from the apples in the pantry, the fruit leather packed in kids’ lunches, the dried onions on the counter. It’s the feeling of having done good work.

Of course, I talk about this kind of stuff with my coworkers, who quite often look at me as though I’m a wee bit daft for having spent part of my weekend processing apple syrup, but still, they bring me their windfall apples and save assorted leftover bits for the chickens. :)

This week, one of the coworkers-with-the-apple-trees told me he had made applesauce from his apples, just the way I’d described it. It was a fair bit of work, he said, but I reassured him that it gets simpler with a bit of practice, and besides, the apples are free and they might as well be put to good use!

He wanted to know what to do with all the sauce he’d made (I suggested freezing it, in addition to baking with it – he brought in a batch of absolutely fabulous apple cinnamon muffins) and then I showed him some dehydrators online (I’d brought in some fruit leather earlier in the week). His next question was how to extract juice from the cooked apples, as cheesecloth wasn’t working.

I explained that the cheesecloth that you buy at the store is way too porous to use for draining fruits, especially cooked and mushed apples. An ancient tea towel that’s been around since the seventies would be about right, or an old well washed t-shirt. Laid in a colander over a bowl, you don’t even have to rig up the whole ‘sugar bag from a broomstick’ deal (yes, I am actually old enough to remember jelly juice being extracted that way).

Regardless, sure feels good to share the joy of ‘good work’ with someone else. It was cool to see the big grin on his face as he told me about what he’d done on the weekend.

He is darn proud of himself, and rightly so. :)

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