Monday, September 29, 2008

Apple Season!

I go to Hillside Orchard about once a week starting the middle of July. That's when blueberries are in season, and I can pick them myself. I have been going to Hillside for about nine or ten years now, and my kids grew up picking blueberries in that patch. It's a really great family owned and operated produce stand. After blueberries comes peach season. They actually know me as "The Peach Lady" because I buy so many peaches. I can make so many things with peaches, but my favorite is just a raw peach, pealed and popped into your mouth. Red Haven peaches are probably my favorite. And after peach season comes apples. I love apples during apple season. In fact, it's the only time of year I eat apples, for the most part. I just hate a mealy apple, and love the crunch of a fresh Ohio apple. Last year at Thanksgiving with my dad's side of the family, I told my brother, Bruce, that I should have brought him a bag of Ohio apples, and he looked at me and said "yeah, you should have!". So I brought him a bag for Christmas! They close the day before Christmas at Hillside, and up until then you can still get those amazing apples. When I invested in a dehydrator this year, I read that apples are one of the best things to dry, so I was pretty geeked to try dehydrating them. I bought some of the first apples available at Hillside, and we put them on the nifty kitchen tool we have that peels, cores, and slices apples all at once. It goes so fast! I put the apples in citric acid to prevent discoloration. I sprinkled some with sugar and cinnamon, some with just cinnamon, and others were left plain. After drying I put them in a container on the counter and they were GONE in a week. Wow. Everyone loved them. So when my favorite eating apple came in season Mackintoshes, I bought two bags. The DH (dear husband) ran them through the peeler, and we put them in the dehydrator. Because no one cared if they were dark or light in color, I skipped the citric acid this time. The sugar didn't seem to make much difference, so I skipped that too. The cinnamon, however, was really a flavorful addition, so I sprinkled that on half of the apples. A gardening friend told me she left the peels on hers, so I tried that as well. I think in the future I will just peel them, as the kids preferred them that way. The dehydrator is really cool; it holds nine shelves, and I used every shelf for the apples. Skipping the citric acid was smart, these apples were much sweater than the first batch and to tell the truth, they didn't look any different to me.


Chelsea said...

Oh, my goodness! Apples! I just love them at this time of year. If you ever come across them, you must try Honey Crisp apples. They. Are. Amazing. I wait for them every year like I wait for Rainier Cherries. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Dragonfly Close said...

You know, I did see those at the stand. They had a special label so it caught my eye. I will try some for sure now.