We had a bumper crop of apples this year, and everyone else we know did too. Of course the peak of the apple harvest was during a hot spell, so luckily I was able to set up my outdoor canning station to make applesauce. I made two huge batches of applesauce, and we now have two dozen jars in the pantry, which is more than I’ve ever made in one year before, but there were just so many apples I didn’t want any to go to waste. Sean was able to use up all of the rest of the apples to make cider using the cider press that he built using a bunch of stuff lying around the garage including an old weightlifting bench, the engine from a broken dishwasher, a car jack, a bunch of re-purposed wood trim, and some designs from the internet. He is always impressing me with his creations, but this may be one of my favorites. He pressed about a gallon and a half of cider, and it was delicious. We drank it all up it was so good, but next year we may make a bit more and try fermenting it. There were lots of small chunks of apples left over as a by-product of the cider pressing which I have been feeding to the chickens and turkeys as treats, so nothing goes to waste.
We’ve also been busy picking more blackberries and freezing them for home-baked desserts this winter, and I did manage to find time to make a blackberry pie. Ironically, I didn’t think to make an apple pie this year, despite the buckets of apples that were sitting around everywhere I looked for several weeks. Sometimes I get so caught up in canning and putting food away for the winter that I forget to enjoy some of the harvest while its fresh and in the moment. Oh well, I still have not gotten around to preserving the piles of pears that are now sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be canned, so there’s still time to make a pear tart to celebrate the bountiful fruit harvest this year.