I was looking over some recent posts yesterday and noticed that I had mentioned my excitement for "all the apple yumminess that will arrive soon." Man, I must have been having a seriously clairvoyant moment back on September 25 when I wrote that.
Last weekend when Jared and I went camping for my birthday, I had insisted that we go apple picking on the way home. Well, it was pouring on the way home, so we didn't do any picking. But we did stop at the Pine Tree Orchard in White Bear Lake, MN (a serious apple operation over there, let me tell ya. And also apparently the number one job for White Bear Lake high school students). I couldn't decide how many apples to get, but being a little ambitious with my canning plans, I decided on half a bushel (about 20-25 pounds). When I asked for that amount, the lady behind the counter asked if I would take a whole bushel for the same price ($24!). Ok, of course (to Jared's serious dismay) I said yes.
So we ended up with this box of about 45 pounds of apples. Next year, I think I'll buy my bushel of apples on Friday so I have the whole weekend to can and bake. Because dealing with what turned out to be 86 second grade Mcintosh apples every evening of a conveniently busy week has been a lot to handle.
Jared's uncles lent us their food dehydrator- which I have to say, has been awesome (there might be one of these in my near future). And I made apple butter for the first time, and lots and lots of apple sauce. As I write this, there are apple muffins and a loaf of apple bread in the oven. And this still leaves me with 24 more apples. In my near future, I see more apple butter, a pie, some more bread, and oh yeah, maybe a birthday cake for Jared...
Lots of work, but lots of fun. Canning isn't really a "city thing" to do, and even in my adventures as a rural vermonter, I had never canned anything before this summer. I gotta say I love it. I love the idea of preserving food for future seasons, and the connection that I feel like there is to all those before me (I think in my family, it was way before me, but still) who carried on this tradition, because that was just what you did, and bringing this tradition back to life for myself and my future family.
We're off to what promises to be a beautiful fall weekend wedding in Wisconsin (my first trip to Wisconsin!) this weekend. I hope you all have a wonderful few days, whatever you're up to.
PS: "Apples to Apples" is the name of my new favorite board game. It turns out, coincidentally, that I rock at it! I highly recommend it if you're in the market for board games.