Monday, October 12, 2009

Cold Apples

10 yr old Big J, in his Buky Thorpe

A friend of a friend has an apple orchard. They mentioned they could use some gleaners- apples for the taking, just pitch in a bit and pick a tree clean. Was I interested? Um, yeah! With snow in the air, and more on the way, it was kind of a 'how soon can you get here?' situation, so after seeing Teenager off to a soccer double header (in 28 degrees with snow and wind, better him than me, I tell ya, I wouldn't last a minute, I'da quit the team right there on the spot, but I'm wimpy- he's hearty) and husband off to some Saturday 'extra' working, I cracked the whip, rounded up every one's coat, ordered the donning of the mittens, hats, and boots, and headed down and over a town or two for some picking fun.
It was cold. Really cold. After a while, my toes hurt far too much to call that fun, but the baskets and buckets we'd brought were not yet full, and with another hard freeze on the way, the apples weren't going to last. It was 'now or never', so we picked on. I came home with I dunno how many Fireside, Cortland, and Harrelson apples (my personal fave!!)- more than we can eat anytime soon, even with 7 children and 2 adults eating on a regular basis around here, so there will be some 'putting food by' going on for the next several days. Applesauce tomorrow, as well as dehydrating (oh, I love dehydrated apples for snacking!) and freezing some slices ready for pies. We might have had a huge batch (ok, they might all be huge, we do feed a few people around here) of oatmeal loaded with apples and cinnamon (another favorite!) and a more generous than usual amount of brown sugar... and we may have some apple crisps and there may even be a pie or two if I can find the time for some crust making tomorrow.

Anyway, like I said, it was cold. Seriously, and with that wind, oh my, even my cold-heartiest of my cold-hearty children had a few whimpering moments. This global warming is really hard on less-than-ideally protected feet, like mine, and my poor oldest daughter who just wouldn't stay little until her Carters wore out- she outgrew her winter boots and we haven't found her a new pair yet, mostly because we really haven't looked much yet, you know, as it was only October 10th!! Lady Liberty ended up warming in the van (with Baby J) for a bit, at least until it was time to go see the horses! Nothing like a horse to bring a frozen girl out to brave the elements, even if the horse runs off into the pasture after the tractor trailor filled with apples...

I'm glad I had my new hat, but check out my hands- I didn't want to dirty any 'good' mittens and I couldn't find any decent gloves, so I grabbed a pair of garden gloves, LOL! Whatever, I was in it for the apples, not the hand shots!

And now I'm ready for some serious warm things knitting, or at least some serious warm bed cozying- time to put the down comforter into the flannel duvet cover! I have yarn for a sweater, I even hand wound my first skein this morning... Now I just need some free-time, HA!

Do you have a favorite apple variety? Favorite apple recipe? (Remember this one?) Freezing trip to the apple orchard story to share? I'd like to think I'm not the only one to tempt frostbite fate for apples, but you never can tell about these things...

Happy knitting-
ali

13 Comments:

Anonymous Trina said...

Great photos. I love apple picking. I have my fingers crossed that we can take our boys this weekend. I hope the weather cooperates. Good luck finding time to knit. I'm trying to do the same. Are the girls feeling better?

10/13/2009 8:06 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

We have our own apple tree of unknown variety...luckily the apples peak earlier in fall than most! It's a tarter apple that is good to eat off the tree, but amazing in applesauce and pies. My favorite pie recipe is:

http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=434581&package_id=434722

And a tip to consider with your applesauce that a friend told me and we love...at the very end of cooking, add a half teaspoon vanilla to each batch of sauce. It's truly amazing!

10/13/2009 10:28 AM  
Blogger Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

I love trying new varieties of apples. Think my favorite might be Gala ... no, maybe its Cortlands. I do love Macs tho.

My favorite dessert is Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream. Yum! But a caramel apple once a year is special.

BTW, I love the picture of you and the kids. Sweet.

10/13/2009 5:15 PM  
Blogger psalm127 said...

Wow you have been busy. So glad to see the kiddo's doing better. What a scare. Our weather doesn't get that cold here. We are in the 50's right now but by the weekend are suppose to be back to the 90's. A few weeks ago we went and got our apples up at one of the local apple orchards. Love this time of the year, just wish it was cooler. ha ha. You have been doing wonderful work!

10/13/2009 5:26 PM  
Blogger fromallstitchedup said...

It all sounds so romantic and dreamy. Cold weather, lots of apples, snow in the air, oatmeal with apples and brown sugar. I have no cooking advice, my fresh cooked applesauce was green when I finished cooking it - not so appealing !! Have fun - I bet your house smells great too.

10/13/2009 5:29 PM  
Blogger theblondeknitter said...

YaY! I'm so glad the pics turned out! The sun came out at just the right time. That was such a FUN adventure, I'm glad you guys could make it. We are still up to our elbows in apples and it has been great. There's something about preserving the harvest that is so rewarding!
:D

10/13/2009 10:02 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I love apples and apple recipes. I missed apple picking here this year. It kept raining on the weekends and too many appointments during the week kept us away from the orchard.

Ruth

10/14/2009 1:36 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

That hat is too adorable, but you really do deserve some handknit mitts! Apple crisps sounds so yummy on this chilly Fall night.

10/14/2009 5:33 PM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

I'm kind of glad I missed the picking, but got to enjoy the "fruit" of other peoples labors. :)
I made this with some of our apples the other night: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/caramel-apple-cheesecake-bars-with-streusel-topping-recipe/index.html
Yum!

10/15/2009 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

That is just about the cutest picture ever. You have the most beautiful family.

And wow!! Can't wait to see how you use all those apples!!

Blessings to you and yours-
Amanda

10/16/2009 7:47 PM  
Blogger Knittymama said...

Love the photo!! My favorite apple recipe this week was a salad of bok choy, apples, craisins, sunflower seeds and a bit of olive oil and seasoned rice vinegar. Yummy!

10/16/2009 8:39 PM  
Blogger a friend to knit with said...

ohhhhhh... it sounds wonderful...
and you are absolutely adorable!
your hat! i LOVE it.... and your CHILDREN! precious.

damn. i need some little kids.... and you should enlarge that photo and frame it!

i make an apple cake that is my FAVORITE.
let me know if you want the recipe.... xx

10/20/2009 5:32 AM  
Blogger Vagabond Recon777 said...

Well as either a 5th or 7th generation apple grower, of course I have favs. Go to to look up descriptions. My earliest web page was a top 10 pick and my latest of that was already about 8 years old, the first was in 1995 An apple a day.... As you can see from there my fav at the time was Melrose. I don't have enough experience to rate honeycrisp as of yet but would now add Querina Florina, Scarlett O'Hara and for sure, Sansa on to my top 5 list. Sansa, might have risen to number one at this point but it is still hard to beat Melrose overall, IMNSHO.

John Cummins
Indian Cave Orchard

10/20/2009 12:08 PM  

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