Saturday, when I was doing dishes, I asked the MR if he thought those were apples on the ground out in the orchard. Neither of us were quite sure, and somehow I never made it down to check things out that day. By Sunday, it was clear I had apples everywhere.
But you say isn’t that kind of early? Well yes, yes it is. According to four out of five websites, Chehalis apples (a derivative of Golden Delicious) don’t ripen until mid-September or early fall. This is August. What’s going on? The one website that slated harvest for August was based on California’s climate. We never get that hot. Sometimes you have to embrace reality over what you read.
Now that I have about 15-20 pounds of slightly bruised apples, I decided it was time to make some applesauce.
I love homemade applesauce because it’s just apples pure and simple. First I washed and quartered the apples and cut out the bad parts. Then onto the stove they went with a cup of water.
After about an hour, with frequent stirring, the apples were cooked, and soft, and ready to be milled. A friend of mine was talking about processing apples a few years ago and extolling the virtues of her Kitchen-Aid mixer’s food mill attachment. After peeling and coring apples for years, I thought I’d give it a try.
She let me borrow hers, and I wound up buying my own. Your applesauce won’t have the chunks that give it character, but the mill has cut down on so much of the prep work.
Once you’ve cooked your apples, you run them through the mill—seeds, peel, and all. Then your left with sauce.
Meanwhile, I had jars boiling in my water-bath canner ready and waiting. Fill jars, wipe rims, add flats and rings, and your set. Process for 15 minutes at a full boil (for pints), and enjoy.
The half-filled jar makes a lovely addition to lunch. I figured this is a good start at dealing with my glut of apples.
I’ve got quite a few blueberries down in the orchard, so I was eyeing a recipe for blueberry-apple jam, and I have an Italian inspired canning book that has a recipe for apple-pear paste. With a name like paste, it’s go to be good. Seriously, it’s more intriguing than it sounds.
We’ve eaten all the red beauty plums, but I still have a bowl of yellow ones to find a use for. They’ve been a great addition to fruit salads lately. And we’re at the tail end of both the currants and blueberries. You may have noticed the large zucchini in the photo of my jars. I think we’ll be having blueberry-zucchini bread before the week is out.
I always get such a sense of accomplishment when we’ve had success in the garden or the orchard. We still don’t have any ripe tomatoes, but the farmer’s market and farmstands have come through while we wait.
Another week, and we’ll be enjoying green beans and lettuce from the garden. I do love our long growing season. We’ll be in harvest mode through October if all goes well.
How does your garden grow? Any favorite apple recipes?
In other news, Sweet Miss celebrated her birthday this week as did The Fella. Wishing both of them many happy returns.