wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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The Last Goodies

As the season officially changes on Sept. 22, at about 12:21 p.m. Pacific time, we say goodbye to the heat and drought of the summer from hell, and welcome the wind and rain of the shorter autumn days.

My garden was a disaster this year with a long cold spring that didn’t encourage seeds to germinate, and a dry, way-too-hot summer that threatened to toast any plants that dared to pop up. Watering barely kept things alive and below a half-inch barrier on the surface, the ground was often powder dry.

The fruit trees had a poor crop this year but a few plums (not as many as in other years) and a few (VERY few) apples managed to grow. My favourite apple tree, the Wilmuta (a cross between Jonagold and Gravenstein) wasn’t exactly loaded either but the few apples it did have were very nice. You can see the Wilmutas below.

The last of the plums. They’re so sweet and tasty, but there were not enough of them.

The walnuts look like they’re drying right on the tree instead of falling off still in their green husks. They don’t look that great this year, but I discovered today that Lincoln has found the backyard walnut tree too (after cleaning off the two hazelnut trees in the front yard).

I don’t think Lincoln will starve this year, as the nuts did all right by squirrel standards.

Digging holes to hide the nuts,

This is what I do,

Later they will fill my guts,

Very tasty too.

 

Working hard this time of year,

Just as I’ve been taught,

Later I can give a cheer,

For the food I’ve got.

 

Days are shorter, now it’s fall,

Must pick up the pace,

Hiding nuts, I have them all,

See my smiling face.

 

Come the winter, nights are chilled,

Cozy I will be,

Lying back with stomach filled,

Happiness for me.

 


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Apples – A to Z

Apple time is nearly over and each type of apple has its season. Our transparent apples, tart cooking apples, are the first to ripen, followed by the Gravenstein, a delicious eating apple. Then comes the MacIntosh, thinner skinned, but also a good eating apple, and finally the best winter apple I’ve ever tasted, the Wilmuta.

The apple trees were loaded this year, probably to make up for last year’s almost non-existent crop.

I’m guilty of not pruning the trees well (or at all) last winter and the trees were so weighed down with apples that a major branch threatened to break. I stuck a piece of wood under it to prop it up. I promise to prune the trees for next year.

I had never heard of Wilmuta until I bought this one, almost 30 years ago. My favourite apple is probably the Gravenstein, but Jonagold comes a close second. Wilmuta is a cross between these two varieties. The goal of apple biologists was to produce a large apple like Jonagold, but with the rosy colour of a Gravenstein. The result was a huge mouth-watering late season apple that is as sweet as it is hardy, well into late October.

October is nearly over and these apples are still on the tree, but I think it’s time to bring them in out of the cold soon. They are really good keepers, except for getting eaten eagerly once they are ripe.

If I were to buy another apple tree, Wilmuta would be my first choice.

*****

Apples keep the doctor away. Sorry, Doc.

Baking with apples

Crunchy fruit

Delicious, dripping sweetness

Eve tempts Adam

Festive

Gravenstein

Hardy

I love apples

Juicy Jonagold

Keepers

Lovely

MacIntosh

Nutritious

Over the top

Pippins

Quantities – never enough

Ripe

Sweet apple sauce

Tart transparents

Unbelievably good

Varieties abound

Wonderful Wilmuta

X-tra good

Yes, they’re the best

Zero calories … almost.


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Apple of my Eye

I was disappointed to read that “apple of my eye” probably refers to the pupil of my eye. It has been used in many Biblical quotations, usually in connection with protecting someone. For example, in Psalm 17:8 7:8: “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings”.

I prefer to think of the expression as meaning someone you like very much.
“She’s the apple of my eye.

As I peeled many, many apples, the wheels turned in my head.

“What a silly expression! Do I want to be the apple in someone’s eye? How dumb is that?”

But old expressions are often like that, and the meaning changes over the centuries.

Luckily, the apple hasn’t changed much. It is still tasty enough to tempt anyone to risk being tossed out of the Garden of Eden.

In my little garden, far from Eden quality, I have lots of apples. Too many to eat all at once, even after sharing many with friends (without tossing them out of the garden).

It is time though, to do something with the last of the apple harvest. I have enough frozen apples, and I’ve eaten all I want for the moment. I can only bake so much before we have to go to Weight Watchers. So what to do?

Last week we had friends over for a visit and they brought us apples they had dried in slices. The light came on in my dull head. Didn’t I have a dehydrator in my pantry? I hauled it out and got busy.

The dehydrator has five trays that sit over a little heater and fan.  Load the trays with fruit, stack them, put the lid on, open the vent on top, plug in the dehydrator, and then go read a book while they dry (for several hours). You might want to choose a nice long book like “War and Peace” or “Gone With the Wind.” It takes a while.

I peeled my apples, but it’s not necessary. Personal choice. As the bottom tray had some dried  apple pieces ready, I took them out and put them into a bowl and re-filled the empty space on the trays with some banana slices.  I suppose you can try drying just about anything. Herbs from the garden, for example.

The dried fruit makes a delicious and healthy snack when it’s done.