Thursday, September 20, 2012

Apple Raiding

I think, in the relief from the heat, our plants and trees are confused.  Here is a blooming "Delicious"-type apple tree.  It's September!
Last year, I purchased 200 pounds of "juice grade" apples to make applesauce, apple butter, and juice.  We split this with the family at Secondhand Ranch, and decided that 200 pounds was only half of what we needed for a year's worth of apple canning.

This year, at our new house, we've found two nearby families who have productive apple trees but will not be picking any of them!  So far, Q and I have gone twice to fill a bag with apples and walk home.  I estimate we walk about 1/2 mile total each trip, and with 20+ pounds of apples in the bag, this may not be the most efficient method for picking apples for me, at 24 weeks pregnant.  Still, if I drive, I'm not getting exercise.  If I take a wagon, I'm afraid the kids will want to ride on the way home, and I'm certainly not up to 50+ pounds of apples plus 25-60 pounds of children (depending on how many are with me).  Bags it is!
"Pick!  Pick!"  he said and gifted me with these flowers.

Tasting apples for quality!
So far, the family together harvested 20 pounds, Q and I picked up 27 yesterday, and today Q, the Screamer, and I picked up 24.  There are plenty more apples, and we have many more days to harvest.

I'm piling up the rejects so when I return, I don't have to pick through them again.
Bag full of apples

Today I made one batch of applesauce, 4 quarts.  I need a bigger pot!  The canner can hold 7 quarts, but my pot to cook down the apples can only hold about 16 pounds at a time (3/5 of a batch).  When we work at Secondhand Ranch, Myle has propane burners outside and HUGE stockpots to cook down the apples.  We can really get  moving then!

My second problem is my food mill.  It needs to be clamped onto a counter or tabletop.  At our old house, I had to clamp the food mill onto the counter above my dishwasher, which was inconvenient as it required having the washer open.  Here, my counters again are not deep enough to clamp.  My table? It has an angle edge, so the clamp will not stay.  Someday, I will design my own kitchen for canning, and part of it will have deep-lipped counters for just such tools!

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

1 comment:

  1. The picture of Q handing you flowers just melted my heart. Love you guys!