October 17, 2012


We have an old apple orchard on our property. I mean it's ancient.... We don't take care of it except to prune a few old leaning branches, and Bill takes his old Ford tractor and discs down the weeds a few times each Spring.  When the kids were home, and teenagers in need of money--what teenager ever has enough money? they would pick the apples and Bill would take them over to the cannery. There are few canneries in the area now, and even fewer apple orchards.  Now it's all about grape and wine.
We never planted grapes, and it's times like this I'm glad we still have our old apple orchard.
Spring Apple Blossoms in the orchard.

The trees have not been too productive this year. We started out thinking it was going to be a great apple year. Lots of blossoms and bee activity, but for some reason the crop is small, and our Golden Delicious tree up near the house struggled to make enough apples for pies. Our old Gravenstein trees had very small apples, and very few.  One of the few pies I've made recently. Golden---and Delicious it was!

However, these apples which we call late apples or Jonathan'   because we have never really known what they truly are ---have been loyal, and produced enough good size apples for sauce.  We've been making sauce for the past few days. Bill peels, I chop and cook. At this rate we should have sauce until next apple season. We just used the last container of  our 2011 sauce this past week. This is a big 8 quart pot of apples. I add some water at the start of cooking the apples so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan.  Get them bubbling---lower to medium heat, stir often. As soon as the apples start to break down and start to make "sauce" I turn the heat down to low and let them simmer for awhile. I add some cinnamon, and 3/4 cup of sugar to the cooked sauce. Stir well. Turn off the heat, and let the sauce cool before spooning into plastic containers.  It's not difficult to make good applesauce. The peeling is what takes time. We use a vintage White Mountain apple peeler.  It's about 40 yrs. old. We have some extra blades, and Bill keeps them  sharpened. It still works great! and so does he!!!

*No, I have not been sewing or quilting. I came home from the quilt retreat, put everything away, and haven't had a moment to go back to the sewing room.  I did have a terrific time at our quilt retreat! As always. I finished coloring all the Prayer Garden blocks and have them sewn together. It's an awesome quilt, if I do say so myself. Sometimes we need to say that to ourselves-----"you did good". And let it be.

I did go shopping on Saturday and found a border fabric, but like I said, I haven't washed the fabric, or cut the borders out.  I'm just zoning out on being home I guess. Sassy was super excited to have me back home! It took her 20 mins. to calm down!

 Watering the outdoor plants--- still. I know I'll be sorry I said this---but, I'm really ready for the rains to start. Everything is so dry and crisp now. And the annuals seem spent. I pulled up some of the older Petunias today. They just looked tired---soon it will time to clean out the flower beds and plant a few spring bulbs, and get back to indoor stuff, like sewing & quilting more---until then, I'm enjoying the last bits of summer weather.

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