Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Have an Apple Crisis! Help!

No, not APLS, but there's another topic that I have been lagging behind on. Whew, between kids, jobs and being sick I am really behind! Anyway, make sure to check out the APLS blog to find out more about our local Great Lakes APLS. I plan a quick post later today welcoming everyone back to our region for fall. And, I need some local answers for THIS:

What do I do with all these apples? See, I was hoodwinked. Tricked. Scammed. By my own sister! My mother, yes the one of peaches fame, was kind enough to bring us a couple of bushels of apples from Northern Michigan. My sister was supposed to take half for her family. Does that look like my half to you? I didn't think so. I think she took five apples out of the bag and sent the rest to me!

I will can applesauce, I will freeze apple pie fixin's but how in the heck am I going to store the rest? I don't have a root cellar, we unplugged our extra refrigerator over a year ago and I don't really want to plug it back in just for apples. Help me create a root cellar or rent me a storage space somewhere! I am drowning in apples. Thanks, sis.


Burbanmom said...

Here's what I do and it works pretty well for me:

Wrap each apple individually in newspaper or magazine paper(I know GIANT pain in the arse - but maybe you could pay the kids to do it!) Then don't discount your unplugged fridge so quickly! That sounds like a wonderful root cellar! Dark, cool and best of all - spider-free!

I do this each year and can generally get the apples to last a whole month! The trick is the individually wrapping, though. If they're not wrapped then once one starts to rot - they all rot.

Green Bean said...

Okay, I just survived this. A month ago. And am now down to a few apples and am back to buying them at the farmers' market.

Short term, they really don't need to be refrigerated. Mine kept on the counter for a month.

Each day, I sent an apple in my kids' lunch until my oldest exploded "I'm sick of apples!"

I made a lot of apple sauce (it takes good mixed with maple syrup and warmed over Melinda's pancakes).

I made some tomato apple chutney. Some apple butter. Great recipe here. Because you make it in the slow cooker, you can do it nearly every day. You could likely do it while you're at work because I don't think it needs to be stirred as much as the recipe suggest.

I dried a bunch of apples in my dehydrator. Did you ever end up getting one of those?

I think that's it. Oh, we ate a lot of apple crisps. You can also juice them. I did that last year but wasn't willing to give any up for juice this year.

Don't worry. This too shall pass. And then you'll be bummed that you're out of apples. You'll start scoping out apple trees as you drive. Wonder if you should put up a wanted post on freecycle. And then you'll remember how tired you are and just be happy with the apples you put away.

CM said...

Tis truly not that many apples!

A 32 lb. box turns out only 11 quarts of apple sauce.

The newspaper trick does work well, and drying them is a great option mentioned too.

We've done up 3 boxes of sauce and nearly eaten through our first box of winter apples.

To make it easier you need an apple peeler/corer machine. http://www.applesource.com/peeler.html for an example.

Thomas said...

Greetings from Portland, Oregon!!!
Last year when I got some wonderful hood river apples and pears so I made a batch of hard cider. If you start this week it could be done by Thanksgiving:) It was the rave of mine last year!

5 gallons of fresh pressed sweet apple juice (known today as apple cider)
5 cups of sugar
1 package of Wyeast liquid lager brewers yeast (available at homebrew supply stores)

Transfer the juice and sugar using a sanitized funnel or food grade plastic hose into a sanitized glass or stainless-steel container at room temperature. Allow the sugar to dissolve and then pitch the lager yeast and affix a fermentation lock atop the carboy It will soon begin to bubble away releasing carbon dioxide as the yeast converts the sugars into alcohol. Allow the cider to ferment and mellow for at least two months before transferring it with your sanitized food grade hose into bottles, a keg, or any vessel you prefer. Then enjoy. Any homebrew supply shop can get you started with the proper advice and equipment.
I changed things up a bit, I added some pear juice into the mix, used raw sugar and champagne yeast instead of lager yeast for a little added kick and carbonation. I am however an experienced home brewer so I might advise just going with the directions your first time around:)

jennconspiracy said...

Make canned apple pie filling - two quarts are used for one pie (the apples shrink up after you hot water process them). It's a great way to use up a lot of apples and pretty easy to do! Makes great gifts, too.

jennconspiracy said...

also, I just make a heck of a lot of apple sauce - plain unsweetened, cinnamon, and with fresh ginger. I use it for baking a lot since I'm a vegan. It's also just yummy.

AnnMarie said...

It might make sense to use the old fridge. There's one in our basement that I've used for apples for two or three years. Last year, I checked electric usage during that time. There was no appreciable difference when it was plugged in! And my apples lasted until APRIL. They would have lasted longer except I ate the last one then. I had 1.5 bushels and most just I ate them, at the rate of about 6/week. I love apples and can't wait to get more now that they are ripening around here.

I also make lots of apple cider (but only with seconds/drops) and sauce (ditto) and can it. And dry them.

Jena said...

Arrg I had a nice comment ready and the computer ate it... anyway I second the idea to can your pie filling (saves energy!) and it does make a nice gift. Let me know if you want the recipe I use out of the Ball preserving book, it calls for pint jars but you could do quarts too. I'll be making tons of applesauce. Green bean is right - I've had 3 huge bins waiting to be canned for awhile now and they are keeping just fine. I'll let you know how juice turns out too if I get the ambitious! :)

greeen sheeep said...

If you are serious about cold food storage go to the library and check out Root Cellaring - Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike and Nancy Bubel. There are a couple of pages specifically on apples.

It also gives you ideas other than a full blown root cellar, like trenches and keeping closets or cold spots in your house.

If the library does not have it, I will send you mine if you promise to send it back when you are done with it.

Jena said...

I have that Root Cellaring book and I tried to post again letting you know what it said but my computer was being retarded. Basically it says apples like it cold & moist (32-40 degrees F & 80-90% humidity). It also notes that leaving the stems on is best for storage and suggests smaller, well ventilated containers. I've had good luck keeping them in laundry baskets. This time of year I leave the windows open in our spare bedroom and shut the door so it stays pretty cool in there, or maybe try your basement. The book also says that early varieties can be expected to last a month or two while later varieties can last most of the winter. Hope this helps!