One type of produce we are definitely not lacking here is apples. Our neighbors have given us a few from their wonderfully loaded trees, and last weekend we went over the neglected orchard near us for a little family apple-picking excursion. Picking apples, even little apples from trees that haven’t been pruned in ages, is so much more quick and satisfying than picking blackberries. With the blackberries we’d work for an hour and mostly fill a two gallon bucket. With the apples, we worked for maybe fifteen minutes and came away with three buckets and change.

We resisted getting too many, because of course every apple we pick has to be processed. But here again we had a pleasant surprise. Last year we did all of the peeling and coring by hand, and my memory of that process (which took place in the context of a one-month-old infant in the house) was that it was long and tedious for everyone, but especially for the kids. This year we had an apple peeler-corer-slicer from my dad, and let me tell you, that thing is gold. In one day of work we produced applesauce, apple jam, dried apples, and a Tart Tatin. And, of course, a whole lot of compost.

I’ve so missed having applesauce in the house, especially with Ryan now eating so many solids. It felt like a minor triumph to put a dish of warm applesauce in front of him for the first time. This triumph, however, was slightly marred by the fact that he appears to not like applesauce. Seriously. I’ve tried it on him several times, and he’s disinterested to the point of rejection. This is despite the fact that carrying around an apple to gnaw on is one of his favorite things in the world. I’m still hoping that I’ve somehow misread the situation, but every time I offer applesauce to him, the hope dwindles…


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