On Sunday, I responded to a post about free apples. A family had picked and stored all that they could possibly consume, so they posted for someone to take the rest. Um.... I'll take them! Our trees produced well but because they are still young, we didn't get near as many as we need. Our neighbours kindly gave us a lot of apples too, but I need more and was planning to buy them very soon.
I received a reply to my request for the apples within minutes and I arranged to pick them up on my way through town at mid-day - no extra trip into town required!
This picture shows only half of what I received - there were 4 large bags of picked apples. My sinks are very deep so the picture doesn't really do them justice :) I don't know the variety, but they are mild, sweet eating apple. Combined with the tart cooking apples that I received from our neighbours, they will produce delicious apple pies, crisps and applesauce.
Yesterday and today, we have been busy washing, separating and cooking. Any apples that are too bruised are given to the chickens (and are promptly devoured!). Apples that are only mildly bruised or marked are cooked down into applesauce my pressure cooker for 15 minutes. The apples that were in perfect condition were heaped into a bowl for fresh eating or refrigerated.
I'm also testing to see if vacuum sealing them will keep them fresh in the fridge for longer. I'll let you know how that goes! I don't throw the vacuum bags out unless they have had raw meat stored in them, so that saves buying new bags which are costly.