My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It's all about Apples

I'm not quite sure why, but I have this urge to write a post about apples! I know this is a quilting blog but my heading does say "sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm" so perhaps I'll get away with it?!
Admittedly, I have been immersed in apples lately as the trees we planted a few years ago are getting more and more prolific.
I have just realised what a comfort fruit they are - other fruits come and go, sweet juicy peaches, plums, nectarines shine for a few weeks - we feast on them to the point of gluttony, but then they are gone for another year.
But Apples! They last and last... with a variety of trees they seem to go on for months.
Apples connect me to my past and my family. Many a childhood hour was spent around the kitchen table peeling bucket after bucket of apples - us kids and Dad peeling while Mum cored and sliced and cooked. Dad instigated "longest peel" contests and regularly told Mum to make sure there were no 'toe-nails' left in the stewed fruit ... you know those tiny bits of core that when they cook up feel like toe nails in your mouth (not that I've ever had toenails in my mouth but it's a good analogy). These apparently were common in Dad's boarding school days but happily it's a while since I've found a toenail in my stewed fruit.
Once Dad stopped milking cows fulltime and sort of retired, he spent the last 30 years of his life planting, growing, pruning and harvesting fruit (and nut) trees, adding to the orchard that his father had planted.
Part of Dad's orchard - all fruit and nut trees.
Homegrown fruit seems to have always been part of my life and apples have been the backbone.
And so lately it has been a comforting time, peeling, cooking and bottling. Making desserts (and cakes and muffins) with apples.
 You cant beat it!
Do you have a comfort fruit?
I"m not the only one liking apples.
So there, I've got this out of my system! Thank you for letting me indulge myself.
Normal crafting transmission will resume soon :-)
Have a great day!
Happy stitching,

32 comments:

Marjorie said...

I'm a berry girl. My favorite being Huckleberries - small wild blueberries that grow in the mountains throughout the Western US.

Leeanne said...

yip, apples are a 'go to fruit' for sure! I had to re read your post as I skimmed through & read toe nails in the apple pies! yikes I thought, slow down & re read.......safe no toe nails in the pie!
Enjoy your feasting on apples.

Michelle Ridgway said...

Well I have to say living in the subtropic my favourite is mango....love them any which way!!! However a definite favourite of mine from childhood and still is my Nan's Apple pie and Apple crumble...my Mum has the reins now. Oh so delicious! I loved your post today...so happy!

Maria said...

Nothing nicer than eating a juicy nectarine/peach with the juice dribbling down your chin in the Summer...
But a warm apple pie with custard in the winter cant be bet.
I loved your post and such gorgeous memories for you..

sunny said...

I eat an apple every morning in my oatmeal. We discovered a couple of very tasty new-to-us varieties this year. Always happy to read about something other than quilts. Hmmm..I wonder if I can make an apple dumpling?

straythreads said...

great photos!! and wonderful memories never heard the seed hull called a toenail before but great analogy! fresh apples from the orchard are my favorite. have a great week

Suz J said...

No wonderful warm fruity memories for me, although Nana had a prolific orchard and home garden, and she always had jars of all sorts on the shelves. We have planted a small orchard, and are finally starting to get enough fruit to do something with. I found freezing the stewed apple pulp worked really well, and saved cupboard space. Although no apples for us this season... dreaded black spot got to the fruit first!

Rebecca in AK said...

I loved hearing about your family and your wonderful 'apple' memories. Apples are my favorite fruit! When my Mom and Dad settled in Arizona they planted orange, grapefruit, peach and plum tress. Later they planted 30 pecan trees. It was so great to just go out and pick fruit to eat right off the trees.

Janet O. said...

This post takes me back. We didn't have an orchard--we lived in town--but everyone in the neighborhood seemed to have at least one apple tree in their yard. Lots of applesauce and dried apples (Mom wasn't a pie maker), and just fresh apples. Now Dad has one apple tree, one pear, one peach. That, along with his grapes and berries, he keeps me in fruit most of the year. I make pies, jams, sauces--and I freeze the fruit to use later.

Every Stitch said...

Apples are a childhood memory for me too - love stewed apples and apple pie is always a huge 'comfort food'! Just as a coincidence - I stewed a juicy batch of them last weekend - now frozen for use down the track.

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

What a lovely and comforting post Raewyn -- thank you for sharing. Your writing took me to the kitchen with you and your family.

My comfort fruit is chocolate ;)

Thanks for your sweet comments on the blog(s) today and good luck in those giveaways!

Hugs,
Karen

Angelikas quilts and knits said...

I love all kinds of fruit, especially berries and apples. My favorite-receipt for apples is :
dressing of 1 spoonfull apple-vinegare
1 tsp honey
1 tsp liquoricepowder
put 1 apple cut to pieces in the dressing and enjoy :-)

hugs
Angelika

margaret said...

mouthwatering seeing all those apples and so good to have bottles some too. i have 2 apple trees, only been in 4 years, one is full of blossom and has had apples before the other no blossom and never had an apple!Also 2 pear trees likewise only one has blossom, a plum tree and a cherry tree,( both with blossom this year) have planted all these in the last 4 years. Must admit to not being much of a fruit water but love the blossom!

Tania said...

Hi Raewyn, I love apples, there is something so reliable and somehow trustworthy about good old apples. Always there for the taking... I enjoyed this post, I am always happy to see a glimpse of life down on the farm!

kiwikid said...

Love this post Raewyn, we used to get the wind fall apples from the next door neighbour, so have many memories of sitting peeling apples, and stewed apples were the breakfast staple! But my favourite memories are of feijoas eaten under the huge trees in the orchard next door and also sitting under the mandarin tree after school eating them!! (And then getting into trouble for not being hungry for dinner!!)
xx

Fiona said...

what a lovely post... my grandpa was an apple grower and we spent so many years when my family worked with him.... I loved all the picking, sorting and packing...many happy hours....
Hugz

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Awesome post....comfort fruit....can I say all of it....I am a fruit lover, eating several pieces a day...I have an apple most days...

marina said...

my comfort fruit would be nectarines. I just love the white flesh ones, we used to have a tree and we would wait all year for that fruit, well worth it too I might add.
Apples are a great staple.
don't know about those wasps though, they love devouring our nashi pears on the tree. Between the wasps, birds and dogs we are lucky if we get one!

Chantal said...

Hi Raewyn! Nothing beats a crispy, juicy apple. I have always loved eating apples. I craved apples when I was pregnant with the twins and ate two a day for almost nine months. I still love them. Strawberries are my next favorite. This was a lovely post.

The Knotty Lass said...

Being such a city girl, I love the glimpse into farm life. I had never thought about having a comfort fruit but mine would have to be apples as well. Grapes would come second, well grape jelly.

Needled Mom said...

Those apples look delicious. There are so many yummy apple dishes to make and enjoy.

sigisart said...

Dear Raewyn,
what a wonderful post and you are so right. In the days of my grand-mom we had the whole cellar full of apples and every child got an apple a day to take to school. I have a wonderful reciept for an apple cake from my grand-mom...have to do it once again.
Thank you and many hugs
sigisart

Cottage Tails said...

Loved your post! There is nothing better in the whole wide world of eating an apple straight off the tree. Your dad sure did pass on his love of trees to you. How wonderful! Love leanne

Sharon said...

Hi Raewyn,
I loved your apple post. Apples are among my favorites. You would think that growing up in southern California we would have had lots of fresh fruit, especially oranges, but we didn't. We were quite the canned fruit family except when Mom would buy fresh strawberries to have with shortcake. Thanks for the lovely post.
-Sharon

Josie said...

Oh.. those jars of apples look scrumptious. I love cooked apples in any way shape or form and rhubarb too... yummy. Funny how it's the simple things in life that give us the best memories. Long may your apple trees fruit!

Sheila said...

So glad you did a post on apples , I love them and Nova Scotia is well know for our apples ,the most famous being the Macintosh , my hubby's favorite but mine is spartan . Your apples look so yummy .

Anthea said...

What a very pretty post Raewyn & I've so enjoyed reading all the previous comments too... Gorgeous pics...
I love apples too - they are just so easy to pick up & crunch on... & I must have a brag that I can make a pretty darn good Crumble too...
take care x

Julie said...

Hi Raewyn, have been away so just catching up on some posts now. Yip I too love apples - I enjoyed this post very much. I tend to freeze mine more so than bottle them. Its great your Dad planted all those trees - I have recently planted a granny smith apple tree. Wishing you a great week Raewyn- you have made me crave apple pie now !!! :-)

Charlotte Scott said...

Never thought of those bits of core as 'toenails' before, but I will now every time I get one! Thanks!

Karen said...

Your post makes me want some apple pie and ice-cream!

Michelle said...

Loved this post and reading about your "heritage!" There is a good series of books called "Vines & Orchards" by Cindy Woodsmall. It's about an Amish family that have apple orchards and some of the trials they go through. This post sort of reminded me of that. :)

Karen said...

Apples are a perfect food - cooked, raw, hot, cold - love them!! Great photos.