Applesauce or Apple Pie?

It’s apple season! There are so many beauties out there right now that every time I go near a farm stand, I pick a few more to add to my stash.

Have I mentioned how much I adore color and texture? It doesn’t matter if it’s in food, as in a bowl of apples

or tomatoes.

Or yarn, as in this painting of my yarn stash created by my friend Kim Barrick. It makes no difference to me. I love it all. They each bring me joy.

Unlike yarn, which can last beyond a lifetime as in the case of my adorable mother’s yarn stash,

when I get too many apples I’ve got to act. Pie or applesauce? If the skins have started to wrinkle and the bruises have started to show, I make applesauce. Otherwise, it’s Mom’s Apple Pie with Cheddar Streusel Topping. No contest.

Even the ingredients are photogenic!

Apple Sex

The core of an apple is actually the apple’s ovary. It is usually divided into five chambers containing two ovules (where the female DNA is stored) each. If the ovules are pollinated with male DNA in the form of pollen grains, the apple will mature into a well-developed fruit. A fully pollinated apple will contain ten seeds. The number of seeds is directly related to how many grains of pollen have traveled from the stigma, down the style to the ovum in the ovary on the apple’s blossom. The apple needs a minimum of 6-7 seeds to set fruit, or it will not grow to maturity. The pollen is carried by pollinators from other nearby varieties of apples in the orchard.

Mother Nature ensures the survival of the apple tree species by making the flesh sweet and tasty so squirrels and deer will want to eat the fruit and disperse the seeds widely.

While in Hasting’s New Zealand, we had the pleasure of visiting our friends Annette and Rufus Carey’s Longland’s Fruit and Vegetable and Christmas Tree Farm.

I loved seeing their neat system for growing rows of apple trees.

Having an apple orchard is on my bucket list.

How to make Apple Sauce

The following kitchen tools might be helpful:

To make applesauce, peel three pounds of apples and remove brown spots. Three pounds of apples equal about 9 medium apples or 7-8 cups sliced.

Use an apple corer (ovary remover – ewww) to prep the slices.

Or, if you have a spiralizer, use it.

Add the apple slices to a saucepan with about 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove lid and simmer 10 more minutes. Use a potato masher to pulverize the chunks, if desired.

   

You could leave the peel on, but know that it will separate from the apple as it cooks and has a tendency to stick to the roof of your mouth. That’s one of the reasons I always peel apples for my grandson, the skin can be a choking hazard for babies.

You can add cinnamon and sugar if you’d like, but applesauce is plenty sweet and flavorful unadorned.

Consider putting aside ½ cup of applesauce to use in Marion’s Crazy Good Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Bread.

One More Seque!

How about a great book to read this Fall about an American pioneering family in the 1800s who struggle to plant an apple orchard in Ohio? At The Edge Of The Orchard, by Tracy Chevalier, is such a book.  I love how John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) plays into the story as well as the science of bark-grafting apple limbs. I’m grateful to my dear friend, Gayl Squire, a teacher in Napier, NZ, for buying me a copy of this book to read while we were visiting them.

Always check the website for the most current version of a recipe.

© 2014-2017 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.

To Jump or Not to Jump in New Zealand

Kia Ora from New Zealand! I have so much to write about our trip, but for now, here is a quick story about bungy jumping.

DSC_0021

Yesterday, as we were driving along the Kawarau River on our way from Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand to the mountain village of Wanaka, we stumbled upon the parking lot of AJ Hackett’s bungy jumping operation located near the historic Kawarau Bridge. This is the birthplace of commercial bungy jumping.

We pulled over to check the place out. The Kawarau Bridge is 142 feet above the Kawarau River. The bungy company maintains the bridge which is now a historic landmark. When we arrived, there were no jumpers in the queue, but there were a lot of people on the sidelines assessing the distance between the jumping platform and the river. Definitely shudder-worthy stuff.

DSC_0023

All I could think about was what it must feel like to step off the ledge. I mean people aren’t doing this in anguish. I had just seen a stunning production of King Lear in Wellington the night before. Lear was mad as hell as he stood out on the ledge; these jumpers were jovial. I guess I am not a thrill seeker, but man was I ever intrigued by the IDEA of jumping. So intrigued, I kept trying to photograph the actual stepping off the ledge part, as if, in doing so, I would get a glimpse into the head of a person crazy or brave enough to do something so primal, yet according to friends who have jumped, exhilarating.

As I was busy overthinking the situation, this superhero showed up.

DSC_0048

I followed Spiderman out to the ledge/heath/platform to get a closer look.

Here’s the drill on the bungy jumping operation. First, a staff attaches a fail-safe harness around the jumper’s waist.

DSC_0054

While a staff member prepped Spiderman, the first jumper of the day walked out onto the platform where another staff member, himself tethered to a safety cord, wrapped a thick towel around the jumper’s shins and ankles (so there wouldn’t be any bruising).  Next, the attendant attached an ankle harness over the towel and clipped on the long bungy cord.

DSC_0062  DSC_0066

With glee, the guy jumped and was clapping as he did so!  His mates cheered him on.

DSC_0068

A retrieval boat, tied up to a dock at the foot of the canyon, was right there to pick him up.

DSC_0069

The next guy to jump brought his GoPro. These guys were confident.

DSC_0081

Ready,
DSC_0083

set,
DSC_0084

go,
DSC_0085

swing,
DSC_0086

and smile for the camera. Terrifying!
DSC_0090

Back to Spiderman

Having checked all attachments, and with a handshake to seal the deal,

Spiderman dove

and was retrieved.

I’m glad we made this little detour. No, I did not jump.

Other Travel Stories
The Kennedy Bunker, a Cold War Monument in Palm Beach
Cranberry Love in Cape Cod
The Tobacco Barns of Trigg County, Kentucky
The Sheep of Nashville: The Chew Crew

LET’S STAY CONNECTED!

Follow my photos of vegetables growing, backyard chickens hanging out, and dinner preparations on Instagram and Pinterest at JudysChickens.

Never miss a post: sign up to become a follower of the Blog.

© 2014-2017 Judy Wright. All rights reserved. Photos and text may only be used with written consent.