It was my plan to take all these amazing pictures of us picking apples but it just didn’t happen. I was too busy eating picking apples to take any pictures.
Though we had a great time, I will admit it felt a bit odd picking apples in an orchard that was surrounded by desert. haha Never seen such a goofy site before. It was an organic orchard that just reopened after 4 years of struggling with their crops. The apples were so small, about the size of a plum but none the less they were fun to snatch out of the branches.
The orchard had a herd of lambs that roamed up and down the paths so I stayed busy trying to keep out of their way and in the meantime I was also dodging these HUGE red bugs that were dive bombing me. I swear they were the Protectors of the Apples! I couldn’t tell what the heck they were but then I wasn’t going to stick around to examine them either. :) I am sure the farmers watching from afar thought that I was running around in great enthusiasm in picking apples, little did they know that I was being chased by winged creatures!
In the end we picked about 80 lbs of apples! It was a good 1 1/2 hour drive to this orchard and we were very excited by this new adventure. We had already experienced cherry picking and cranberry bogging together and now I was able to scratch apple picking off the bucket list! We were excited to pick them once we got there. We were excited to load them in the truck. We were excited to drive home. We were excited to see 80 lbs of apples sitting on our kitchen counter….I was excited to “process them”.
After slicing the 276th one, I wasn’t all that excited. lol I am sort of kidding, I did actually have fun processing them. It took me 4 days straight to tend to them all! I dried 41 trays worth in the dehydrator. Can we say, Christmas gifts?” You will notice in the pictures below that I played around a bit with shapes and sizes.
I was getting down to the end of apples, growing a little weak in the wrist from slicing them all, so I decided to make apple butter with the last 11 1/2 lbs. I sort of felt bad, like I was searching for an easy way out, but soon that feeling of guilt faded. Peeling 11 1/2 lbs of itsy bitsy apples made apple slicing look a whole lot better. lol I managed to keep all my fingernails and skin intact.
I forced all the apple butter into jars and stood back, gazing upon them with great pride. Look at all that luscious apple butter?! Then I it hit me, what the heck am I going to do with it all?! I didn’t can the apple butter so that meant it had a much shorter self life date. So I slapped a few labels on the jars and took them all to the office where I pawned them off to everyone who crossed my path. Problem solved. :) I love sharing food anyway so it was a win for all involved. So, that wraps up this adventure!
Types of Apples
Arkansas Black – Arkansas Black apples are mostly used for cooking. It is used as one of the ingredients in sauerkraut recipes. This variety of apple has a firm texture and a sour taste.
Braeburn – This variety of apple is available anytime between October and July. The skin color of a Braeburn apple is reddish-orange with shades of yellow. This variety is usually used for making salad, applesauce, and pies. These apples can be frozen for later consumption.
Cameo – Though the Cameo apples are harvested in the month of September, it is available in the market only between October and August. This variety is identified by the white spots on the red skin. Cameo apples are used in various desserts such as apple crumble or apple crisp and many more. It is also used to make salads, sauces and pies. Cameo apples can be frozen.
Cortland – Cortland apples are available almost throughout the year. The only time it is not available in the market is during the months of January, March and April. This variety of apple is sweet and the skin color is red spread over a yellowish-green skin. It is used for baking and freezing. It would make a good snack after a meal.
Empire – Empire apples are available throughout the year. It has a sweet and a sour taste. The skin color of this apple is a combination of red and green. You can freeze this variety of apples for future consumption.
Fuji – Fuji apples have reddish-pink skin. This variety belongs to Japan and was introduced in the US in the 1980s. This variety makes a good snack after a heavy meal. It tastes good in salads, pies and sauces. Fuji apples have longer shelf life without refrigeration. This is available from August to October.
Gala – This variety of apples is available from September to May. Though it is not good for freezing, it can be used for baking and apple pies. Gala apples have pinkish stripes on yellow skin. This variety of apples is very sweet.
Ginger Gold – This variety of apples have a sweet-sour taste. Ginger Gold apples are available from August to November. Apple pies and sauces could be made from this variety. However, it is not good for freezing. The skin color of a Ginger Gold apple is yellow.
Golden Delicious – As the name suggests, this variety is not only sweet and delicious but also golden yellow in color. It is used to make jams, salads, pies and sweet sauces. Golden Delicious apples are good for freezing too. This variety is available throughout the year.
Granny Smith – The skin color of this apple is green and it is very sour. It is available throughout the year. It can be frozen for later consumption. You can make pies and sauces with this variety.
Honeycrisp – This is a new variety of apples, which was introduced in the early ’90s. The skin color of a Honeycrisp apple is a combination of red and yellow. It is used for baking and making salads and sauce. It does not taste good in pies. This variety can be frozen.
Idared – Idared apples are available throughout the year. The skin color of an Idared apple is pink. This variety has a sweet and sour taste. Idared apples can be used for baking and freezing. It is used for making pies and sauces.
Jonagold – Jonagold apples are a hybrid variety of the Jonathan and the Golden Delicious apple. This variety is mostly used for making sweet-sour sauces, pies and salads. You can freeze Jonagold apples for future consumption. Jonagold apples are available between October and May.
Jonathan – This variety has a shade of red and green skin color, and the taste is sour. Jonathan apples can be frozen. It is widely used in salads and sauces.
McIntosh – This variety of apple makes an excellent snack. You can make pies and sauces with McIntosh apples. However, these are not good for baking or freezing. The skin color of this apple is a blend of red and green. It tastes sweet with a tinge of sourness.
Red Delicious – The skin color of this variety of apple is red and it has a very sweet taste. This apple is good for making jams and would make a good dessert after a heavy meal. These apples are available in the market throughout the year.
Rome Beauty – This variety of apples are commonly used in baking. The skin color of this apple is crimson red and it is mildly sour. It is mostly used in salads and pies. It can be frozen too.
Winesap – Winesap apples are not good to eat raw and mostly used for making apple cider. This variety of apples is sour and has the flavor of a seasoned wine. The skin color of this apple is deep red.
Do you know an apple tree can live for more than hundred years? There are many interesting facts about apples, which include the nutritional and health benefits. Apples are used in a number of food recipes including sauces, pies and cider.