Monday, August 16, 2010

The Applesauce Days of August

Processing our apples is a messy job, but necessary; otherwise the fruit from two trees would go into the composter. They aren't good eating apples; they go soft quickly, so they aren't good candidates for the food bank. Somebody has to process them all quickly, and that somebody is me.
Plus, they make awesome applesauce.

Trying to give apples away is not unlike trying to give away zucchini when there are dozens and dozens everywhere.

A friend's husband once joked, about the small farm town where they lived, that he always closed the truck windows when he parked in town, no matter how hot it was. If he didn't, someone would leave zucchini on the front seat.

We are blessed with two varieties of apples, although I don't usually feel it as blessing during the picking, prepping, cooking, and putting through the food mill.

Thank heaven for food mills. Without one, I would be peeling and coring all day; the mill allows me to cut, remove both ends and that's it - into the pot they go.

The results are worth the work, even more so because we use no herbicides or pesticides on the trees.

I never use a recipe, but the applesauce is always good - a little tart, only very lightly sweetened. This year's crop will make about 20 pints for the freezer.

In the dead of winter, this tastes awfully good


Ciss B said...

What kind of apples are they? I used to do it with Macintosh apples but these days I usually use red delicious since I don't have to add sugar to them!

ChrisJ said...


I don't know what kind they are. The previous owner planted the trees about 12 - 15 years ago. The one I make applesauce from is quite small and a little elongated like a delicious, but not big enough for delicious. The apples on the other tree are bigger and rounder.

cooper said...

I can't wait until fall here. The apples suck until then. That looks delicious.

ChrisJ said...


They are especially early this year, about two weeks. I always pick them as soon as they are ripe because the bears like them too!

Owen Gray said...

We have two enormous pear trees in our back field, Chris. Like your apples, they go soft quickly. In the past, we've turned some of them into jam.

But there are always more than we can deal with. So they drop to the soil, where they provide compost for the soybeans, wheat or corn -- which ever crop we're cycling through in a particular year.

ChrisJ said...


I know they're not wasted in the composter, but it does feel like that sometimes.

Judie said...

When I lived in Penn. our neighbors were always leaving rhubarb and zuchini at our back door. I made a lot of pies and zuchini bread!

I once grew zuchini in the garden when the kids were little. I would check every day to see if they were big enough to pick. Then I learned that if you didn't pick them that day, over night they would turn into baseball bats. I left several unpicked over the fall and let the kids carve them instead of pumpkins for Halloween. They were strange but very original!

ChrisJ said...


I'm trying to picture the zucchini jack-o-lanterns. That story would make a great post, especially if you had a picture!

Glad to have you back.

Ladygoodwood said...

We have a lot of fruit trees too. My apple harvest is early september when i also make apple sauce, and lots of stewed apples for freezing ready to go into pies and crumbles as and when.
My current dilemma is figs! We have a huge fig tree that is burgeoning with fruit that will quickly spoil. Figs don't freeze, make awful jam so i just keep stewing them and sticking them in the freezer until i can figure out what to do with them!
In the next week or so we will have around 200 bunches of red eating grapes ready - perhaps i could set up a stall outside the hospital LOL

ChrisJ said...


Gosh, I feel overwhelmed with 2 apple trees and, until this year, a small vegetable garden.

You must be at it for days on end, but I bet everything tastes wonderful.

Pearl said...

like the zucchini/truck story.

we haven't had any bumper crop this year. tomatoes are coming along but we have to buy some too.

making applesauce is a good centering sort of activity. nice.

ChrisJ said...


For some reason this year, processing the apples was more frazzling than centering.

Pearl said...

must have been one bad apple in the lot. ;)

ChrisJ said...


Yup and it was me!