One of the best things about fall is the apples. Though I do occasionally buy apples in the grocery store through out the year, in the fall we binge.
With all the other fresh fruit available, I didn't buy apples since the strawberries started in May. The children were absolutely thrilled to have apples again.
I usually purchase seconds at a local orchard.When purchasing apples, I've found it best to call around. In our area there are quite a few apple orchards and there is a wide variety of prices.
Today I went to pick up some more apples at the orchard. I paid $6.00 a bushel for seconds, the best price I've ever seen in our area. I bought Golden Delicious and Empire.
On the way home, I stopped at another orchard for cider. This orchard was located not more than a half mile from the first orchard. There the apple seconds were selling for $8.00 a HALF bushel. Maybe because they make cider and have a good use for their seconds, they are not as eager to give them away!
I just checked my records from last fall and found that I had purchased 10 bushel of apples. That sounds like a ridiculous amount. With those apples I made apple pie filling, apple butter, applesauce, all manner of apple desserts and lots of fresh eating.
Last year, I had been determined not to run out of applesauce. Ed loves applesauce and could eat it 365 days of the year. I pack a bowl of applesauce in his lunch almost every day. The children love applesauce too so I made applesauce last year until I thought I HAD to have enough.
But this summer, it was obvious I wasn't going to make it until fall. I cut back on serving applesauce and started feeding them fresh fruit and actually have six jars of applesauce left. I also have a couple jars of apple pie filling and maybe one jar of apple butter.
But, obviously, I had to buy a bunch more apples for this coming year. I've bought nine bushels so far, in two trips. We ate a peck of them just in the last week, mostly just fresh with some peanut butter. Almost every meal ends with "Can I have a apple with peanut butter?" - a request I can't resist!
Buying seconds isn't without it's issues. I don't usually order over the phone because I like to look at them first. Some of the apples I got had nothing wrong, just small size. Others have brown "dings" that the orchard man says are from stink bug damage. They should be fine for applesauce.
I found maybe one or two per bushel that have a small rotten spot. I like to transfer them to a new crate when I get home and check for any bad apples. You know what they say about one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch!
We'll save the nicest apples for fresh eating and turn the rest into applesauce.
My back can't handle moving that many bushels into the house, and I didn't want them to sit in the hot van. The children's red wagon came in handy.
I had a willing helper.
But then she decided to ride!
Tomorrow I'll share the recipe of an apple cake we enjoyed last night. I'd love to hear what you do with apples!
Oh, and did I tell you, we got rain! Over TWO inches of rain yesterday! Praise the Lord! It was the first since August I never knew rain could sound so good!