I ordered my food strainer last week, and it came this week. I picked up a pile of Fuji apples at the grocery store on sale last week. I thought this was a great way to play with my new gadget.
I used my apple whacker to whack the apples in large chunks. I tossed them, stems, cores, peels, seeds and all into a large stockpot. I added 2 cups of apple juice and steamed them on medium heat in the apple juice for 15 minutes. I let the apples cool a bit, then I dropped them into the strainer. Just a few turns of the handle later, I had fresh, delicious applesauce coming out of the machine. The cool thing was the garbage spout. All of the peels, cores, stems, and seeds dropped into the trash bowl.
I stirred in some salt and some cinnamon, and the applesauce was delicious.
After the kids ate quite a bit of applesauce and I served a bunch for dinner, I ended up canning six pints of applesauce for later.
The bulk food co-op will be sending me a bushel of Gala apples next week, I guess I will get another chance to use my food strainer and make some more applesauce.
We also tried the strainer out on some tomatoes. It worked very well, removing all of the skins and seeds from my Roma tomatoes. I think, though, in the future, I will stick to Romas for tomato sauce. My Cherokee Purple tomatoes added so much juice to the sauce that I had to cook it down by half to make a good sauce that wasn’t runny.
This morning, I finished reducing the tomato sauce, added some salt to the pot, and a bit of powdered onion and powdered garlic.
This is going to taste great this winter over pasta!
With the food strainer, I bought the grape spiral. We have a Concord grape vine in the back yard. It was supposed to be a seedless grape, but it didn’t turn out that way. So I am so excited to be able to use this doo-dad to remove the seeds and skins from the grapes. That’s on the agenda for today or tomorrow. I’ll then be able to make tasty jams from the grapes. I’ll let you know how it goes. I also have a sneaking suspicion that I will be able to make blackberry jam (sans those annoying seeds) with this thing too.
Clean up wasn’t too bad. However, I did end up with a significant mess where I’d set up the sauce maker. There’s just no way to avoid random squirts of tomato sauce and apple juice when you are working with that much produce.
Taking apart the machine for cleaning was fairly easy. I rinsed the screen well and used a soft brush to remove any leftover pulp from the screen. Warm water and soap was all that was needed, and dishwasher washing is not recommended.
My kids helped with this project. Turning the handle wasn’t super hard; although, I think arm fatigue would be an issue for a person who isn’t as accustomed to using their hands and arms as much as I am. Victorio does sell an electric motor for this unit that would help if you found the handle-turning too tiring. Personally, I have 4 kids who can spell me with this thing, so I won’t spend the extra money on the motor.
Overall, I feel like my purchase was a good one. I am very satisfied with my Victorio Food Strainer and Sauce-Maker, and I believe it will be money well-spent. The gadget works as advertised, is very sturdy and easy to use, and is convenient enough to set up and clean that I will be using it quite a bit in the near future.