And So We Harvest and Prepare Food

Let us sing a sweet song, a song that’s of praise

For our crops to be ripened and harvesting days

For the apples and pears still ripe on the trees

For the fill of the honey pot, the toil of the bees

When the harvest is done, our glasses we’ll raise

And thank mother earth who deserves so much praise. – Deirdre Omaidin

 

pear treeShortly after we got married, Bill and I were in a hardware store – the old-fashioned kind, not a big box. Suddenly Bill said, “Look at that! We have to buy that for you.”

It was an apple peeler, the kind that you screw onto your counter, stick the apple on the end, and turn the handle.

“We do?” I said, having never in my life felt the need for an apple peeler.

“Of course we do,” he said. “My grandmother had one.”

Well, far be it from me to belittle the importance of buying something simply because it was owned by an ancestor. I do it all the time.

So I became the proud owner of an old-fashioned apple peeler. And, much to my surprise, I have used it often – very often. It does a stand-up job of quickly peeling an apple. Supposedly it will also peel potatoes, but I have never tried a potato. I should, since peeling potatoes is a dreadful job, right up there with emptying theapple peeler dishwasher.

The apple peeler has earned its keep this year, Friends, as I have been up to my elbows in apples and pears for the past week-and-a-half. It’s harvest time, you see.

For the first 15 years we lived in this Denver house, I virtually ignored my fruit trees. Oh, I would enjoy their springtime flowers. And I carefully watched as the flowers turned to fruit and the fruit grew larger and developed color.

But come late August and early September when the trees were heavy with fruit, I watched the squirrels make havoc with the pears and carefully picked up the half-eaten apples from the ground and tossed them in the garbage. I might gather a few of the low-hanging apples before they fell to the earth and make a pie or a crisp, but that was about all.

But, for the past week-and-a-half, here’s how Bill and I have been spending much of our time…..

bill picking pears

As a result, we have ended up with a fall fruit extravaganza, and I have been busy making apple sauce and pear sauce, enough to satisfy my grandkids and repay my neighbor for the wonderful rye bread she always brings us when she bakes. I have made a couple of apple crisps, an apple cake, and an apple pie. I have made a beautiful pear tart.

apples apples apples pears

 

Now, alas, the fruit flies are beginning to notice the plethora of fruit in my kitchen.  I am happy to say I am beginning to see the bottom of the pear and apple barrel.

I’m about ready to put the apple peeler away until next fall and move on to all things pumpkin.

Before I move on, however, this week I’m going to share some of my apple and pear recipes with you.

Do you have any good recipes that use apples or pears?

applesauceHomemade Applesauce, courtesy Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

6 lb.s apples, peeled, cored, and cut into slices

1 c. apple juice or apple cider

Juice of 1 lemon

½ c. brown sugar, packed

1 t. cinnamon, more or less to taste

Optional ingredients, nutmeg, maple syrup, allspice, butter

Process

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Carefully puree in a food processor or blender (don’t fill too full; split into two portions ifmylee applesauce 9.14 needed) until smooth.

Store in the fridge and serve by itself, over pork chops, over ice cream, over pancakes, or any place where applesauce is needed.

Nana’s Notes: Applesauce is so easy to make from scratch that I can’t believe I haven’t done it before. My grandkids have mixed opinions about cinnamon in their applesauce, so I made mine without, figuring they could add if they wished. Because of this, I added a bit more brown sugar, because, well, why not? I added none of the optional ingredients. I could have processed the applesauce to can for the winter, but I found the grandkids ate it about as fast as I prepared it.

 

4 thoughts on “And So We Harvest and Prepare Food

  1. What I wouldn’t give for a piece of Mom’s apple cake. Do you remember it, Bec? She got the recipe on a trip she and Dad took with you and Terry. You stayed in a bed and breakfast that served the cake and Mom got the recipe. I’ll dig thru my recipe boxes and see if I can find it. Where was that trip? Pennsylvania. It was during the fall I know for sure.

    • I’ve got Mom’s original recipe, both the one the B&B sent her and one in her handwriting. I posted it on the blog a while back. It is one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever eaten.

    • That B and B was near Gettysburg. It was a beautiful little inn and setting. The woman had just opened it. We might have been her first guests. I had forgotten about the apple cake. I’d love to see the recipe.

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