Got Apples?

The weather has warmed back up again this week but I’ve been trying to convince myself it hasn’t by spending more time outside and walking to the bus stop with Veronica every day (it’s roughly a mile from her house and back, and she’s just a bit down from me). It was in the mid 80’s today but I still toughed it out. It’s September, darn it! But the morning glories are happy anyway:
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These are volunteers that have spread all the way around the front porch, and I love it.    The same day I was out admiring these pretties I was trying to work out a placement for the sections of wire fencing we have so that I can let the chickens free range in a wider area without worrying too much about dogs and other large predators getting at them, or them wandering out into the road.  Turns out I had other things to worry about, from above.  As I was measuring the sections I had Roo out with me exploring a bit in the garden and eating up the tomatoes that had fallen off the vines.

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I saw this big shadow go overhead and I looked up and saw a large hawk flying overhead.  I paused for a moment and went back to work.  ThenI saw the shadow again.  And again.  And again, starting to circle over me and Roo.  Back into the safety of the tractor went Roo, and I gave up on my plans for a larger pen.  Hawks eat chickens,  I don’t have any netting I can easily put over the top of it,  and it would be a big pain anyway.  Darn hawks.  And speaking of Roos, I am bit worried about Clementine the hen.  Or rather, Clementine who just might actually be a late blooming Roo.

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I won’t know for sure until there’s an egg or crowing, but it’s looking mighty suspicious over here.

Saturday was Paul’s birthday and we celebrated by taking the kids (and my momand Maddie) apple picking.  Unfortunately the Galas, my second favorite (Braeburns are best!) were mostly picked out so we were left with either Golden Delicious or Jonagold.

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It ended up being perfect weather for us – slightly overcast and dry with a nice breeze.  We didn’t feel like we had heat stroke like we did last time we went.

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Oona was happy as long as she had a hand to hold and an apple to munch on.

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Neve was the taste – tester.  We were prepared for her to get whiny and want to go home pretty quickly, but since the weather was so nice she lasted the whole outing without a complaint.  That could be a new record for Neve.

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I think Maddie had a lot of fun.  We had to use a picker to get the apples high up, though we did attempt piggy-backing a few times.

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Mom was wondering what on earth they were going to do with so many apples.

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Yummy little apples.  The only time Oona cried was when she fell; and she didn’t cry because she was hurt, but because she got dirty.

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Golden Delicious.  Not quite golden.

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As we were lugging our bags back up the mountain hill, Captain Obvious Emily said, “I think the only reasont hese bags are so heavy is because they’re full of huge apples!”.  Um, yeah.  I will say, though, that I carried my two bags plus Neve’s bag and they were HEAV-Y.  I was huffing and puffing pretty bad (Paul thought it was funny) by the time we got back up to have our apples weighed.  I also had Paul snag some cider donuts.  I had meant to go over to their wine section and get some of their peach sangria mix, but it was getting late, I was tired, and I had a seriously HEAVY load of apples to pay for.  Oona was getting tired so I bought her an apple slushy, Neve fed her a few gummy worms and we drove home.

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Oona fell asleep on the couch watching Scooby with her sisters not long after.  I can tell you my arms were sore the next day.  And no wonder!

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That is HALF of them.  I carried ALL of them back to the van.  Final count?  6o lbs.  SIXTY!!!  I have a LOT of work to do.  I already have made the first apple pie of the season:

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Plus a big batch of roasted applesauce (slow roast the apples in the oven in some butter before mashing/pureeing), and I don’t think it’s made a dent in our apple reserves.  I see many apple filled days ahead of me.  And canning.  A serious amount of canning.

And now, a little pie story.

Sunday night around 9pm I was cleaning up the kitchen and turning everything off for the night.  Paul had taken Oona up to bed and Emily had long since said her good-nights.  Neve came creeping down the stairs and asked for a slice of pie before bed.  I told her no, since it was past her bedtime.  She began her usual whining abd complaining but I cut her off and said she could have apple pie for breakfast before school.  Her eyes lit up.  “Really?” she said.  “We can have pie for breakfast??”.  I replied in the affirmative and she ran excitedly up the stairs exclaiming “Yes!!  Emily! Guess what??  Mama said we can have PIE for breakfast!!!  Hooray!!!!”

Flash forward to the following morning.  I get up and make a cup of coffee and slice out a piece of pie for Neve while Emily puts her boots on to take care of the chickens.  I put the pie, with a small dollop of whipped cream, on the table for her and call her down to eat.

Blurry – eyed and grumpy she sits at the table, looks at her plate and yells, “I don’t want PIE!!!” and shoves it away.  The cat ended up eating it.

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