Apples, Apples, Apples

Makin and Doin' with Apples....

An apple-quince rainbow.
An apple-quince rainbow. | Source
Just a small, small, portion of the work ahead.
Just a small, small, portion of the work ahead. | Source
"Waste not, want not."  No waste, but  I want what she is making! (You would too!)
"Waste not, want not." No waste, but I want what she is making! (You would too!) | Source
Temperature-controlled electric pot on the bottom.  Steam distiller on the top. Under the bowl are leftover grape solids (from juicing the grapes) making into balsamic vinegar.
Temperature-controlled electric pot on the bottom. Steam distiller on the top. Under the bowl are leftover grape solids (from juicing the grapes) making into balsamic vinegar. | Source

They won't keep ALL winter, so....

Only four apple trees in what is left of what was formerly a lovely orchard.

Then the original owners built our home when the orchard was sold off as half-acre lots. Finally an illegal portion that stood alone had its apple trees cut down rather than having someone spray them as required now by law.

We finally bought that quarter-acre piece and have added two walnut trees, Asian pear trees, peach trees of several varieties, 23 apricot trees growing tall like a windbreak, a hardy fig, a Golden Delicious, two varieties of cherries, a quince tree, plus strawberries, blackberries, and even a Ginkgo Biloba tree.

That's not all! Our original house lot has three apple trees,raspberries, some Goji Berry bushes, and two varieties of grapes.

Fruits-wise we are self-sufficient, not to mention the herbs, vegetable garden, and our health store business which is also on the property.

Right now, though, we have a problem. While we have preserved most of the other fruits we didn't consume in their seasonal profusion, we still have apples, apples, apples!

Currently, we (my wife, that is; imperial "we" or something like that) are/is peeling, dehydrating, saucing, buttering, and making "Heavenly Flakes" fruit leather which melts in your mouth.

You've heard of Johnnie Appleseed? Well then, two of our most productive apple trees are said to be "the original American Delicious, before it was modified down to supermarket size." She put the seeds where they spontaneously turned into twin, side-by-side trees years ago, now they make huge apples and lots of them, lots, and lots, and lots; some of them weighing well over a pound, thus the reason for modifying them. (Some folks throw away the last half of an apple of the smaller sizes, if you can believe that!)

The Apple Butter my wife makes is definitely my favorite (other than my own apple pies, and her bottom-crust-only cookie pan pies.) That Apple Butter has to cook, and cook, and cook, to thicken. As it does so, it makes the house have the fragrance of cooking apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice; plus, it keeps the inside air from becoming too dry and leading to colds this time of the year. The fragrance is not unlike that of a hot, mincemeat pie, straight from the oven.

The dehydrated apples, and "Heavenly Flakes" fruit leather, come from our two electric dehydrators which have a total of 12 trays, and insert "shields" for when she is making fruit leather.

I forgot her Apple Cider for which she uses a steam distiller and a mix of apple varieties. If you have ever enjoyed a hot mug of apple cider with a cinnamon stick, you can appreciate draining off some of that hot cider on a cold fall day when the distiller has finished distilling the Concord grapes and is full of apple slices!

Labor intensive? You bet it is, but we both come from "waste not, want not" families. And after all, we cared for the trees, picked the apples, lugged them in (I do some of that part of the process) and sure wouldn't want those fall gems to go to waste!

With the one-woman-weight-patrol active around here (she has a brown belt in judo, is a nurse, trained physician, and master herbalist, too) if a pie gets baked it is just as likely to be by me. I claim the "Master Piece Prize" in that regard, but we both like brownie-sized slices of her one-crusters.

If you get the idea that this is an extension of the summer's "busy-ness," you are right! Which reminds me that I better get back to my computer and start writing again! Lately I just write, and write, and write.

© This work is licensed under a Creative Comments Attribution-No Derivs 3.0 United States License


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Comments 10 comments

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA

I use to make all of these apple goodies except for the cider. My free supply of apples has disappeared and I can't get them as cheap as I use to either at apple farms. Your hub brings back some good memories.


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

You have a really good wife making everything.

This is a good hub. vote up interesting and useful.


Giselle Maine 4 years ago

A captivating account of growing apples and other produce... I am impressed at how well you are getting everything to grow on your land.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

It's the first thrid of January now. We still have crisp apples stored as they are in a room we do not heat in winter. We still have other apples awaiting a new onslaught of processing activity. The Apple Butter was welcomed as Christmas gifts as were the "Heavenly Flakes" of fruit leather. Meanwhile the munchable dehydrated apple slices will last, and last, and last in their doubled, airtight bags. It looks as if we will be planting seeds for this year's transplants about the same time we finally finish processing last fall's apples. This means the cycle is continuous. Thanks for the comments, and we're glad we stirred memories as well as the Apple Butter!


Keri Summers profile image

Keri Summers 4 years ago from West of England

I really enjoyed reading this hub - up, interesting and beautiful. I feel like I would recognise your garden if I stepped into it. It also brought back memories as the house where I grew up, in the South of England, was built on a former apple orchard, with plum and damson trees too. My parents used to make apple wine, and I used to love the fall/autumn when all that activity was going on.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Keri Summers: Your comment snuck in under my radar two months ago. Do you know the method your folks used to use for making their apple wine? Now we are into the planting season and keeping the field trimmed and neat. It seems that every season is a busy one. One day before too long I will try to add a photo I took of one of my apple pies (I have to find the disc first!) Thanks for the reading and I'm glad it brought back some fine memories.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

We are coming to another apples, apples, apples season. Just looking at the work that involves is enough to make me think we should sell all our apples this year! We have enjoyed the work my wife did last fall, but I'm not sure that is workable year after year. Fortunately, strange to say, the drought this summer has somewhat reduced the crop of apples, and we will surely enjoy eating many of this year's apples.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA

The apples here in Michigan were mostly frosted off this spring. I miss canning applesauce and cooking applebutter. I enjoyed your hub.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

Barbara Kay: We had so many peaches this year that we treated them the same as the apples last year! Peach fruit leather, peach butter, frozen and dehydrated peach slices, and lots of yummy fresh, ripe peaches. No panini cooker, so the great Hub recipe for Bisquick Peach Panini will have to wait until we get one.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 days ago from Today's America and The World Beyond Author

We have survived another Apple Season, but this memory of a very busy time 4 years ago was enough to make us both ready for a nap!

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