Monday, October 26, 2009
i dream of apples
my dad lives on approximately 2 acres. i grew up with a variety of animals (horses, cows, chickens, rabbits, ducks).
the other thing that i grew up with, on this larger than average property, was trees.
my dad is a hoarder, in the extreme sense, and tends to over plant (not to mention over collect junk). but that is something of its own.
anyhow, i grew up with trees. peach. pear. cherry. plum. apple. apple. apple. apple. apple. apple. apple. apple. apple. apple.
i guess that you could say that my dad likes apple trees. we had quite a variety growing up, probably close to 15. over time some died or were chopped down and replaced. he now has about 8 trees. they had very little pruning. thus, they are overgrown. their limbs intertwine like vines. some have branches that stretch much too high to reach their fruits safely.
though they have not been cared for as a true apple orchard would see fit, they produce some amazing fruit.
this year the trees are covered to the hilt. their limbs are heavy laden, sagging and uncomfortable. they were not thinned earlier in the season, and carry the burden of a lifetime of growth.
but those apples, man are they tasty.
it is nearly impossible to find a good tree, that if not sprayed for insects that season, bears fruit with very little worm holes. these are of that rare category.
one tree in particular (i wish my dad could remember the variety) has the sweetest apples. i am sure the forbidden fruit would taste something like them.
we lead our little family into my dad's backyard. toting our coolers and bags to collect some of these delicious morsels.
it was a feat to reach the tall gangly branches and gather the most beautiful specimens. the only ladder that we could find could barely stand up, you can imagine my anxiety when jed was on the top rung.
chase trudged through the fallen apples below the trees, now rotting and smelling like cider. his little shoes stained with the evidence of a very mushy mess. and his little bum and the cuff of his pants looked like he had spilled a bottle of applesauce and had rolled in it a few times. so cute, my little applesauce bum.
with our trunks overflowing with treasure, we headed home to enjoy our spoils.
we decided to save the best looking apples to eat. the rest, we turned into apple pie filling and applesauce.
it was a very arduous endeavor. we spent the day practically bathing in apple juices creating the yummies. in the end we ended up with 21 bottles of apple pie filling (jed just couldn't get enough, i hope he wants to make pies really often) and about 50 bottles of applesauce.
it is the best applesauce, the apples were so sweet and we didn't have to add any sugar, 100% natural.
of course that night and on into the next day, our bodies reminded us of the day long adventure, especially our feet.
but, it was well worth the effort.