In our garden we have an old, gnarled apple tree. I have no idea how old it is; our house was built in the 1950s on the site of an orchard, so it is quite a venerable specimen. I love it; it provides blossom in spring, shade in summer and apples in autumn. After last year's dire harvest due to bad weather I have been watching with anticipation as the apples have been swelling and growing.
Yesterday was officially designated apple-picking day! This is a major event for our family. We all join in and take turns with the fruit-picker thingummy jig. Everyone else tries to catch any fallers, or sorts out the good from the bad. This year, maybe because of the late spring, the fruit is good quality but small. Between us we managed to pick 25kg of fruit and we left quite a lot for the birds.
So now the fun begins! During the week I bravely defrosted the freezer ready for the onslaught of stewed fruit. Some fruit has gone to our long-suffering neighbours, but there is only so much I can palm off onto other people. There is also only so much apple crumble that we can eat, so we have splashed out on a juicer. We thought about this long and hard, as they are not cheap. In the end I think it will be worth it; we also have a pear tree which will need harvesting soon. The pears don't keep so well, so at least this way I won't waste any.
Yesterday evening we had our first baked apples which I stuffed with sultanas, cinnamon and brown sugar. They were baked in an ovenproof dish with a little water at 180C for half an hour. Yum!