Yesterday just as I was getting into the swing of freezing corn on the cob, with the sweetcorn garden relish bubbling away, and the bread rising on the racks above the stove where a tray of sweetcorn kernels were drying, my neighbour popped over with a very welcome bag of tiny cucumbers for pickling (knowing I cannot grow a pickling cucumber to save myself). She has been picking corn each morning too. I turned the relish down and we wandered about the gardens (like you do) she looked up and said, “Oh you have apple pie apples.”
“Oh?” I said. “No. Those are awful apples. I feed them to the animals by the bucket load. They are nasty, all floury and ick”.
“Apple sauce, apples.” She said. “They cook up in minutes.”
“Now?” I said.
“They look ready to me.” She said, as we both immediately, like a reflex, lifted our T shirts to form pouches and began filling our clothing with apples.
“Bugger.” I said and went for the bucket.
“Get two.” she called.
The woman is from Georgia, she knows stuff.
“This tree has been here so long no-one knows its name.” I grumbled as I went in search of the elusive buckets.” This is the first time in years it has even had apples.”
“Apple pie tree.” She said to the tree already lost in the laden branches.
The bees did a good job on that tree this year. And the long cool spring helped them set. And now I shall add apple sauce to my mornings work. I have put the word out and am hoping that a few more of my friends who love food will come with their ladders and picking aprons and we can unburden this tree.
I made one pot of apple sauce quickly last night by roughly chopping the apples, cooking (skin, cores and all) then quickly pushing them through my ancient tomato sieve. My neighbour was right. The flesh of these apples just puffs up and cooks like a dream. The result was a silky smooth apple sauce that we ate hot with dinner. Not too sweet either, which I like. And no I am not adding sugar and cinnamon. But I have to pop over to the Bartolini Kitchens, this morning, I am sure I saw John making apple sauce last year, I need to brush up on my technique. This year I am putting as much as I can into jars, reducing my dependency on the freezer. But I have to get it right.
The bees are doing very well now by the way. The hive is noisy and busy. You will remember that I combined the two hives and now we have one very strong hive. I shall have to have a peek inside soon and see if they need another super. It appears that they were not knocked too badly by the spraying. The bees in the fields will have been lost but they are still very active. And hopefully Cleopatra is hard at work.
I am still thinking I will not give them a honey super. Best we save everything for the winter this year, so they are strong enough to divide again next spring. Fingers crossed.
Good morning. The weather is still cool, we have not been out of the 70’s and low 80’s in almost a week. Which is fantastic for working in the kitchen and garden but not so good for the ripening of the tomatoes. As you know the tomatoes are our big crop. I make gallons of tomat conserva (my favourite) and tomato sauce, and chopped tomatoes. In fact I cannot have enough tomatoes.
We get one or two tomatoes a day though. I eat one on toast with basil for breakfast every morning. I am missing my fresh cheese. I used to make that and yoghurt every week when I was milking. But the milk I buy is too expensive for that.
Well I had better drag the ladders out of the peach tree and into the apples and get picking and cooking. Then on with the day. What a fantastic time of year.
your friend in the trees , celi