Harvest Time: Apple Picking and Recipe

Harvest Time: Apple picking and recipe.

One of my fondest memories of fall is of my brother, E.L., and I going into the orchard to harvest. We had rows of peach, pear, and apple trees. We’d make a game out of who could select the best apples and load them into a bushel with the least amount of bruising and the quickest time. My disadvantage—height, his Achilles heel, impatience.

The choicest fruit always seemed to be near the top of the tree. Climbing onto a ladder took more time, but as a youth I was part monkey and would barely tap the treads going up and down. I’d look at the tree next to mine and see his bright blond cap of hair in the midst E.L. climbed from branch to branch. I didn’t like to lose.

At the end of the day it nearly always came out to a tie. We’d leave some of the produce for our mother to create delicious eye-catching dishes and take the rest to a local cider mill that’d press them into sweet apple cider (tart, or spiced) or boil into applesauce. I love the old world method of cider making because of the cranking and turning wheels as the juice squeezed from the apple. Better yet–mouth-watering scents of tart, sweet and sharp apples being crushed into liquid. Kettles steamed and hissed as apple mush boiled over an outdoor fire to make apple sauce or apple butter. Aromatic scents of cloves, cinnamon and apple nectar, once impenetrate, last forever in your memory.  To me store bought or factory manufactured products do not have the same heady taste as homebrewed. Sweet memories of harvest time.

Here is one of my favorite recipes—a tradition in the Keller family.

Carmel Apple Salad

10 Red Washington apples, unpeeled, cut in chunks.

1 #2 can crushed pineapple

1 cup sugar

3 tsp. Flour

2 tsp. Cider Vinegar

2 eggs

2  cups dry roasted peanuts

2  eight ounces containers cool whip

Drain pineapple well. Combine juice from pineapple with flour, sugar, eggs and vinegar. Cook until thick, then chill. Combine apples, pineapple and 1/3 of roasted peanuts. Fold cooked sauce into cool whip, then mix into apples. Place in large bowl and top with remaining nuts.

This is a group size portion, for a family of four cut in half.

Enjoy and happy harvest!

jj Keller
Fantasies with spice and humor.

The Valkyrie and the Marine, The Wild Rose Press, JULY 2012

Jewel Heist: Diamonds used to be this girl’s best friend.

Dark Sun: He’s almost an angel and she’s pure temptation. Cobblestone-Press

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