Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apple Picking – Fall 2010

Last year I decided I was going to learn how to make and can my own applesauce and apple butter.  It turned out so yummy that I decided to try it again this fall and this year make even more.  We went back to Carter’s Mountain a few weeks ago and we had a van-ful.  Of course our family has expanded since last fall, and this year my parents joined in on the fun.  It was really nice to have two extra sets of hands to help us carry the apples and keep up with the kids. 

Here are some pictures from our day of apple picking:


One of our first big outings as a family of 5!


Steve’s homemade apple-picker. Sorry about the picture quality, he took the picture with his Blackberry.


Natalie & Megan our “taste-testers”


Steve carrying Michael


The girls with Granddaddy checking out a rusted out crop sprayer (circa 1949)



Who knew worms could be so cute?

We picked Jonagold, Golden Delicious, and Braeburn apples.  We came home with a little over 100 pounds of apples!  My parents took ~10-15 pounds home.  I actually went to the store a few days later and bought ~10 pounds of Organic Gala & Fuji apples because they didn’t have any of those available for picking.  I also decided to save out some of the organics and make organic applesauce for Michael to eat in a few months when he gets to start on solids. 

Here is a picture of the apples that we had leftover after my parent’s took some home:


Here is a picture of what we made with all of the apples:


We ended up with 15 quarts of applesauce, 25 pints of applesauce, 5 pint jars of organic applesauce plus some extra that I put in a freezer bag and froze for later, 35 half-pints of apple butter plus a little extra that we put in the fridge to enjoy now, and 38 cups of apples that Steve sliced, and we sprinkled with Fruit Fresh and put in the freezer to pull out for apple crisp or apple pie in the future.  I couldn’t have accomplished all of this without Steve’s help.

I know what you are thinking - why make all of that when I could buy applesauce for about $1 a jar?  I may not have a huge financial savings when you factor in the time and effort involved in picking the apples and making all of the applesauce and apple butter.  We had a really good family day apple picking and the girls enjoyed helping some with making the applesauce.   I like the fact that I know what ingredients are in my applesauce and apple butter.  I may be a little biased, but I can’t help to think that what I made is better than anything you can buy at the store.  I may not have come out ahead financially, but the memories, the taste, and knowing that we made it ourselves – those are priceless.

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