Thursday, September 09, 2004

Rain & Apples

What little is left of Hurricane Frances seems to have passed us last night. We had a little breeze and clouds passing east to west Monday. Tuesday evening the air was wet but still not raining. Finally, last night, I had need to milk in the shelter instead of just out in the open - the first time I've had to use the shelter since we killed the calf in July even though we've had plenty of rain in that time.

A friend of ours from Stony Creek has been bringing us the most delightful apples. They are real Macintoshes and John picks them up after they have fallen off the trees which makes them truly tree ripened. They have that wonderful Macintosh taste and yet are also sweet. They are unlike anything you could buy anywhere. Much of our food is like that - you couldn't buy as good no matter how much money you had to spend.

One of my very favorite staples to eat is cooked apples. That's what we always called them, cooked apples. Just cooked with a little butter in a saucepan with perhaps enough water to start them steaming. Growing up we had five-in-one apple trees in the back yard and there was one late apple on that tree that my mother put up. My grandparents who lived beside us used the old, big, green apple trees that were in the horse's field and which I always called "horse apples". Mother's were more like the Macintosh - firm and kept their shape cooked. Mama's were mushier and more sour but also she put some sugar in them when she cooked them so you got this sweet and sour effect. Oh, they were both delicious.

We always "put up" apples by freezing them. You get buckets of salt water and knives and a scrap bucket and apples and you peel then quarter then core and the salt water keeps them from turning brown. Then you just take the pieces and put them in your containers and freeze. Couldn't be easier although I suppose it is some trouble. We usually get a video and do some in the evenings. My grandparents set up for entire afternoons in their backyard under the double birch tree. My mother must have done it while I was at school.

Of course, having fallen off the trees, half of the apples are half rotten. This is fine with us as we have no waste scraps here - everything is useful. Mostly I take the peels, the cores and the rotten spots down to the pigs. When I give them a big bucketful of milk and apples I can't help but think of apple glazed pork roasts and things like that.

No comments: