Sunday, October 12, 2008


Two weeks ago our family went on an apple picking excursion. A friend of mine has some trees in her yard which were laden with beautiful apples. She told me to go ahead and take some, and just bring some eggs to her sometime for swap. Free trade is alive and well in rural Minnesota.

I had envisioned this outing the way I normally envision family outings; the five of us skipping merrily along the garden path with our baskets, the sun shining glorious above us, the boys happy and eager to reach up and pick apples, giggling happily and singing songs. I live in a fairy land sometimes.

Graham lasted about three minutes before he began complaining about the tall grass scratching his bare legs. Benjamin was too little to reach the branches, so he started picking up rotten apples from the ground and tossing them into the bags. After about five minutes of that, he got bored and went off with Graham. I watched them play Extreme Ring-Around-The-Rosie. If you don't know what Extreme Ring-Around-The-Rosie is, then obviously you don't have little boys in your family. Imagine ESPN Extreme Sports and apply it to children's games. It involves a lot of yelling, grabbing, spinning, sailing, falling and laughing.

Owen stuck it out the longest, and tried his best to carry the heavy sacks of apples back to the car. We got three large grocery bags of apples out of our excursion.

Three big bags of apples (minus the rotten ones, which went to the chickens and goats) now equals fourteen quarts of sliced apples and 8 quarts of applesauce on our pantry shelves. Note to self - don't leave the applesauce cooking too long without stirring. And try to explain the tiny black bits in the sauce as extra 'flavoring' to the family.


Harold Phillips said...

Oh honey... I could tell you ALL about applesauce (or rather, I could tell you all about my wife Trish's adventures with applesauce... she's the apple chef. I just help her cut them up and put the pieces in the pan). We've pulled about 800 lbs of apples from under our tree this year - and those are just the ones the pug dogs let us keep. They're both getting quite rotund.

I did use some of our apples yesterday to make some yummy apple muffins - check out for the recipe. They turned out pretty well.

Trish is also in the habit of making apple butter... basically, you make the apple sauce, then put the sauce in a crock pot and keep on cookin' for another 8 hours or so on low, adding brown cinamin, nutmeg cloves and a smidge of sugar (cooking the sauce down usually makes it sugary enough). Pretty yummy stuff!

Jo said...

Hey Harold! Good to hear from you again.

Mmmm. Apple muffins. Apple butter. Guess I'll have to go back for some more apples. Maybe I'll go by myself this time!