Monday, October 10, 2016

Apple Pickin'

Apple Picking
When we moved to the Ozarks, the place we bought had only two little apples trees, which were only a few years old.  We have no idea what variety they are. I got serious about taking care of the trees and have pruned and sprayed (with dormant oil) at all the correct times.  I was rewarded with my first apple harvest (I'm not counting the ONE apple I got last year).  I got a total of about a dozen apples.  Not many, but it is the first harvest after all, and I'm hoping this next year both trees, and maybe even the two we planted a couple of years ago, will have some.

All the attention to the spraying schedule paid off.  There were only a few spots on the outside of a couple of apples that needed to be trimmed off.  There were NO bugs on the inside!! That's a big deal to me. I didn't spray the apples with any fungicide so the skins weren't pretty, but I didn't want to saturate them with poisons.

So Apple Picking was a big deal and a photo op of course.  The little ones picked the apples lickety-split and posed for Grandma.

Grandma may have photoshopped the apples just a bit so they look a little better.

After picking the precious harvest I knew I wanted to make some jam or butter with them.  Stephanie had made an Apple Pie Jam (recipe from Pinterest) but I didn't like the idea of any chunky-ness in my jam, so on to Apple Butter.  Again, Stephanie had found a recipe on Pinterest which turned out good, so I searched and found one.

The girls helped me peel the apples with the handy-dandy peeler Stephanie found at World Market.  It is amazing (and I don't use that word regularly) how quickly and easily it peeled, cored and spiral-sliced each apple.  So easy even a four or six year old can do it!  The girls peeled all but two apples and I had a little fun with the last two.

I added pumpkin pie spice and sugar to the apples and dumped it all in the crock pot to cook on low.  All the Pinterest recipes say to cook on low for 10-12 hours.

Well before the 10 hour mark, we went next door for dinner.  When I came back in I smelled SCORCHED apples!!!  I quickly scooped them out of the crock pot and into a bowl and into the fridge to cool quickly.  I haven't had the nerve to check it since.

Apparently I'm not the first to overcook apple butter.  Sister Dana did the same thing with a batch last year. Caroline suggested that she add some vinegar, can it and call it pork glaze.  So maybe I can salvage it after all.  Word to the wise: do not gamble your entire first year's apple crop on a Pinterest recipe.

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