Apples Galore!

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways…

The colder nights and milder days tip the autumnal scales and I find myself once again with the glorious dilemma of what to do with all the ripening apples on that very old delicious apple tree in the back corner of the garden. What a blessing! Charmingly, it is Ruby who is most appreciative of a simple ripe apple. Marsha, my dear friend and fellow Border Collie aficionado, rolls her eyes when she hears that I quarter each apple, peel it, and pop into Ruby’s grateful awaiting mouth. Apparently Stella and Cooper (Ruby’s brother!) will eat them off the ground.

Cooper with his red ball and Stella nosing apples

Uh. Not here. Ruby munches down, while Conner stands by trying to look interested, reluctantly nibbling on a bit, in order to feel part of the pack. (Usually I find the bits all slobbery on the floor later.)

One can only eat so many raw apples. I turn to the shed and pull out My Friend, the dehydrator. In all honesty I find the task of coring and peeling and meticulously slicing enough apples to warrant running a dehydrator for the many hours it takes to dry them rather tedious. I try to stay present and put my whole self into the work, finding that adding a backdrop of Chris Botti a reward in and of itself, smoothing out the task of making shorter work of a very large sink full of apples. Hours later I am gratified to pull a layer out from the dehydrator and I smile, knowing the appreciation that will come later, in the Eating Hours.

When at last they are all dry, I am cheered seeing them all in one big bowl!

I pack off a bunch in a gift box and mail down to Antonia. Good.

What’s next?

Conny rings and lets me know her brother has arrived from Germany. It is his first trip to America, surprisingly, and they are coming over for us to meet. Conveniently, they will arrive in time for lunch so I get to plan a menu. Now in full Apple Consciousness it occurs to me that a) Germans do like apples, or so I think and b) it’s been a very long time since I’ve made baked apples! So, baked apples are added to the menu for dessert. Yay!

Climb the ladder, pick some more.

I pull out the trusty corer. (If you do not have one invest immediately! They make the whole process so much easier!) And voila, apples ready.

Into those holes begging for something delicious I pack a mix of butter, sugar, cinnamon and golden raisins. I’m getting hungry just writing this.

I put a dab of butter on top of each stuffed apple and put in my 350 degree F. oven and bake for an hour. Perfect!

I can assure you that Conny and her brother were the happy recipients of this wonderful dessert! I think this is now my favorite thing to do with the apples. They were so delicious and easy I have since made them again (and bet it’s not the last time this season!).

I think the next task is to make applesauce. I do. I resolved that this year I would pay more attention to what was growing at hand and utilize it. I think it’s What’s Up for all of us, don’t you? I have the apples. I have the jars. I simply need to find the will and prioritize. Homemade applesauce in the dead of winter sounds very very good to me and very much in keeping with the times.

My cup runneth over.

Love and garden blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

Heartfelt footnote: My deepest thanks to all my peers on blotanical.com who honored me with their recognition of third place for Best Written Blog of ’08 and fourth place for Blog of the Year Award! Stunning!

20 Responses to “Apples Galore!”

  1. How perfectly Lovely, mom! I was enjoying those dried apples just last night! They are Wonderful! A Delicious yummy treat, and better than anything one could purchase! Much appreciated!

    Love you,
    Antonia
    xoxox

  2. Hi, Antonia! I’m so glad you guys liked them! It’s fun to share. Love, Mom xoxo

  3. How fortunate you are to have an apple tree in your yard Kathryn! When my daughters were small we lived in a house with several fruit trees including a couple of apples. The girls loved using an apple picker to reach up into the trees and pick enough apples for me to bake them an apple walnut cake. We also enjoyed using them for baked apples, applesauce, and apple butter.

    My grandparents had an orchard on their farm, and the smell of apples cooking in the kitchen always reminds me of my grandma. Your post has got me feeling all nostalgic!

  4. Oh, Linda, you bring up two important points. Apples baking in the kitchen smell delicious! They fill the house with the most wonderful of rich fragrances. It’s enough reason to bake at all. And, yes, I don’t think your sentiment of association with the past will be an uncommon theme in these comments–precisely why I’m trying to reintegrate it into my present. We *have* to reclaim our agrarian roots for so very many good reasons. Let me count the ways indeed… Kathryn xoxo

  5. hie kaTthryn, thaNKS four the fOTo of us! we DO luv aples!!! Hi too COnnEr and ruBy!!
    LOv, CooPer andd StellA

  6. ROTFL!! Well, hello Stella and Cooper! How smart of you both to leave us a comment! Come visit us soon and we can play ball! Luv, Conner and Ruby and Kathryn xoxo

  7. Kathryn, what a great bounty. Apple sauce sounds yummy. We love baked apples too.

  8. What a great way to use all those healthy yummy apples from your tree. We use to have an apple tree, but unfortunately the squirrels devoured most of them & made a mess of the yard.

  9. Hi, Deb! Bounty, indeed! Perfect word! Thanks for the visit this evening! Kathryn xoxo

  10. Welcome, Racquel! I had no idea squirrels do that! Maybe because I have a walnut tree my squirrels prefer to be up in there. I’ve never seen a squirrel in my apple tree, glad to say. They are messy, though, that is for sure! Kathryn xoo

  11. I have to laugh at the dogs eating apples. My dog loves them, but wouldn’t know what to do with a whole one. She has trouble figuring out what to bite. But slices that she loves. She will even eat the apple peels.

  12. Hi, Daphne! I’m so glad to hear Ruby’s not alone! I honestly think my Border Collies have whole apples cataloged in their minds as Fake Balls. I’ve seen them grab one on occasion thinking it’s a red or yellow ball and instantly recognizing that it was not what they were looking for, and continuing their search for the Real Thing. :) Thanks for sharing! Kathryn xoxo

  13. Kathryn, your baked apples look SO good! Homemade applesauce with a little (or big) daub of real whipped cream is one of my favorites, too. :)

  14. Hi, Nancy, Thank you! And I must confess I have been thinking about whipped cream! I was thinking it might be good on gingerbread…I think that’s next. It sounds like the holidays are just around the corner, doesn’t it?? Kathryn xoxo

  15. I love that you got a comment from StellA and CooPer!
    Hmm baked apples. There is a childrens’ book I loved Where Uncle Wiggly brought the baked apples to the starving squirrel family.

    Gowan’s Oak Tree near Boonville used to sell cider from their orchards, that would go “hard” after a while. My aunt served it in tiny orange juice glasses to the ladies of the Mendocino study club and everyone became quite giggly!
    Speaking of the holidays, we only make our own ornaments and gifts. We have an iron tree shaped like branches that is on a table, I made these hanging trays where we have homemade candied ginger and blanched almonds. The apple rings would be perfect for that as well as a present. What a great way to capture the spirit and season!
    Thanks kathryn for the inspiration,
    Philip

  16. Hi, Philip! It was Jo Gowan who identified my apples for me as “original delicious”! And I can buy their cider each Saturday morning at farmer’s market. (You should come up!) It had not occurred to me to let it go hard, but I bet people do, and perhaps now I will! :) Your tree sounds like a wonderful tradition and,yes, there is something very festive about those apples. I have already sent out Halloween cards. Do you believe it?Once that autumnal spirit hits, I’m IN it! I must go find the Uncle Wiggly story now… Kathryn xox

  17. Dearest Kathryn … what a delicious post and your photos, outstanding … I’m most impressed! My baked apples are just like yours; great minds think alike. Kudos on your award. You know I am a great fan!

  18. Hi, Joey, Given what a superb cook you are I am delighted that my apples look anything at all like yours!
    Thanks for the kind acknowledgment. I appreciate your support. Kathryn xoxo

  19. Hi there Kathryn, First let me say a hearty CONGRATULATIONS on your award. You do have a well written blog and well deserved. Those apples look super great. Anything with butter is good with me so the cinnamon and sugar are icing ‘on the cake’. Glad the dogs enjoyed the apples and let you know:) I also wanted to comment on the scarf initiative. So glad it is doing well. Aunt Debbi/Kurt’s Mom posted about it a while ago and I read of it there.

  20. Hi, Tina! Thank you so much! It was an honor to be nominated! Glad you’ve heard about the Scarf Initiative. It’s certainly surpassing all and any of my expectations! Thanks for the visit! Kathryn xox

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