Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Peaches for Apples

I'm sure you've heard the old adage, "What goes around, comes around." A simple statement of profound truth.

Weeks ago, during the rich rush of peach season, when we were threatened with overwhelm by an avalanche of ripe peaches, I picked a whole big bag of them and walked along our little street, knocking on doors and giving away peaches. If the neighbors were home, they got to choose their peaches. If they weren't home, they came back to a bag of peaches hanging on their doorknob. There's more than one way to redistribute a glut of peaches.

This week, I got the urge to make applesauce. I enjoy making applesauce - it's undemanding, always tasty and gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see my jars of golden sauce waiting for the fall and winter's pork roasts or waffles or whatever. I do have an apple tree, too, but it produces what I'd kindly call "lady apples," tiny apples perfect for a Leprechaun's lunch but not much good for making a batch of applesauce.

My neighbor at the end of the street has a real apple tree, one that produces nice red apples big enough to fill your palm, and then some. I noted on my morning rambles that some of their apples lay on their pretty patch of grass for days and days; they are a small family. They remembered my peaches and were happy to offer apples in return. So, I get apples because I gave peaches and they will get applesauce because they gave apples and we all get happy neighborly feelings. Another old adage, "It's a win-win situation."

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10 Comments:

Blogger Kitt said...

Hooray for garden and kitchen karma!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger Michelle said...

Delightful story! I love the circular nature of giving. But I wish I was your neighbor (or you were mine...). Enjoy the applesauce - reminds me of home because my mom and grandmother used to make it all the time (and apple butter!).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger dancingmorgan mouse said...

The way we do it is not so much fun, at work anyone with surplus just brings in a bag and pops it on the table in the tea room - good home-grown stuff goes quickly.
Your Lady Apples, are they Crab Apples? My mum & I used to make the most beautiful ruby red jelly from crab apples.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kitt, amen to that!

Michelle, I'll be coming to Kailua at Thanksgiving - so we'll be temporary neighbors! Maybe I'll see you at the sandbar in Kaneohe Bay? :-)

Morgan, the jelly sounds lovely - how did you get the red color?

Thursday, October 16, 2008  
Blogger dancingmorgan mouse said...

Zoomie, the red colour just is, must be from the peel or something. I'll ask my Mum.

Thursday, October 16, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, I'd love to know how you made it - I'm tempted to try that if you can get the recipe...

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger dancingmorgan mouse said...

Zoomie, here it is. You need -
Crab-apples (wash and remove stalks)
Sugar
Water
Juice from 1 lemon
Then you -
Pop the crab-apples in a large pot and just barely cover with water, add the lemon juice and bring to boil. Then simmer till the crab-apples are soft.
Collect the liquid by pouring the apples into a colander with a collection pot underneath, then strain the resulting juice through muslin (double thickness)
Add a cup of sugar for each cup of juice and make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Then bring this back to the boil and boil it till “setting point” is reached. Pour into sterilised jars (pouring down the side should stop any air bubbles forming) and seal immediately.
The red colour comes from the skins, so the deepness of the red will depend on this. It can vary from pale pink to deep ruby red.
It's nice with pork but I always loved it on toast or crumpets or pancakes.

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, thank you (and your Mum!). I'll go down and pick my lady apples tomorrow and hope they are really crab apples. I gather you don't need to cut them up or anything? And how do you know when the setting point has been reached?

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger dancingmorgan mouse said...

Zoomie, no you don't cut them up, as for setting point - take a small amount from the boiling jam pot and drop it onto a cold saucer. Allow it a few seconds to cool and then push it with the teaspoon. The jam has has reached setting point when it sets on the saucer, no longer liquid when you poke it.
Let me know how it goes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Morgan, thanks so much! I will definitely let you know. Isn't it amazing to be able to share recipes halfway around the world?

Saturday, October 18, 2008  

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