Wednesday, August 22, 2012
First Transparent Apple Harvest
Today I am so excited! After 5 years of waiting, I was finally able to harvest my first Yellow Transparent Apples! I used to be able to get them from the you- pick orchards when we first came here. But like many varieties of our produce, these were phased out in favor of the Lodi Apple that had a longer shelf life. Then even the Lodi was phased out in favor of Jonagold or Early Gold apples. I have to say here that I liked none of the other apples for applesauce like the Transparent. They may not have a very long shelf life but they make the BEST applesauce of all in my opinion. An heirloom apple that cooks down into perfect applesauce with no pureeing necessary and a tart under flavor - yum!
Some of my first adventures in canning were with this humble apple. We were living in a tiny, one room log cabin with a wood cook stove that made the interior almost unbearable in the summer when we had to burn the stove to heat hot water for a shower. So I did my canning in the front yard on an old wood cook stove that my cousin had found in a miners shack in the desert in Nevada and had hauled up and given to my Dad when he was setting out to build the cabin when he retired. It was definitely a no frills model, with six holes and a water jacket sitting on concrete blocks.
I would sit on an old camp chair and hand peel each apple with an old potato peeler and slice and core each apple and float it in a bucket of lightly salted water to keep them from turning brown. The yellow jackets would swarm - so much sweetness and moisture to attract them in their end of summer frenzy. My daughter - just a year old at the time, took great pleasure playing with the apple slices in the bucket, poking them with her little fingers and giggling as they would pop up again to the surface. Such adventures we had! Amazing how the smell of a box of apples can bring it all just flooding back like it was just yesterday.....