Last week on Sunday, my neighbor with an overabundant apple tree, shared some with me. A friend and I headed across the street and quickly filled a large cardboard box with apples. We had applesauce in mind and if I had only known…
I started by washing most of the apples and digging out my apple peeler/corer/slicer (the tool that probably saved my sanity that day). I started peeling and coring and slicing and dumping the slices in to a humongous bowl of water sprinkled with Fruit Fresh. (Throughout the day, I wondered if Fruit Fresh was followed my “rules” and I really don’t think it does. Next time, I think I’ll try some fresh lemon juice instead.)
But, to get back to the peeling and coring and slicing and peeling and coring and slicing and peeling and coring and slicing and peeling and coring and slicing. I think you get the idea. I would peel and core and slice, and then check how many apples were in the sink. Yep, a lot left. More peeling and coring and slicing — now how many? Wow, still that many…
When I had what I needed for the applesauce (10 cups), I stopped. (Keep in mind there are still what feels like hundreds of apples still waiting.) I followed the applesauce recipe, specifically chosen because it called for honey as the only sweetener in it. It bubbled and boiled and then I turned those 10 cups of apple slices into 6 quarts of homemade applesauce. I sampled a little and it was delicious. I’m saving those jars until sometime later this fall when there isn’t so much other fresh, fresh produce around.
But, back to that sink still full of apples. Now what to do?
I went to the canning book that I purchased a week prior, and looked up how to freeze apples. That didn’t look to hard, so I tackled that next. That meant peeling and coring and slicing more apples. Surprise! Peel, coring, slicing, peeling, coring, slicing, peeling, coring, slicing. Did I mention the peeling and the coring and the slicing?
Soon I had another large bowl of apple slices. I froze them in plastic bags with the air sucked out of them — nothing in the bags but apples.
And I looked back in that sink full of apples again — really, still that many! To be honest, it was starting to decrease, but still seemed daunting. Now what?
Oh, the dehydrator is still sitting out from my when I tested out drying peach halves. Hmm… apples would be good that way too, I bet. So, after more peeling, and more coring and more slicing, I filled all the shelves in the dehydrator with apple slices and got the machine humming.
I’m afraid to look but finally, there are only about 10 apples left in the sink. I breath a sigh of relief and think “that’s enough for today.” I saved those apples for Monday evening after work, when (after peeling and coring and slicing), I refilled the dehydrator once more.
Every morning now, when I drive off to work, I notice that the neighbors still haven’t picked all the apples from the tree. Then I force myself to remember the peeling and the coring and the slicing.