Showing posts from September, 2018

Apple Butter

Our enormous Gala apple tree had another great year, and we are once again buried in apples . The tree is so tall that we can’t pick them all — even with a ladder! That leaves us plenty of apples to turn into wintertime treats. This year, I decided to make some apple butter. This is a common Pennsylvania Dutch treat that’s basically super-concentrated applesauce. You just keep cooking it, so that the sugars caramelize and the whole thing turns into a thick, brown spread. It’s excellent on toast, and you can also use it in other desserts . Making it is an all-day affair, even with the help of the  Crockpot . To start, I made the world’s laziest  schnitz, which should be cored, sliced and peeled apples.  As you can see, all I did was cut the apples into quarters (they’re small) and toss them into the Crockpot. I like the color that the red skins give to the apples as they cook down, and it’s much easier just to run the whole pile through a food mill once they’re soft t

Jenny Lind Melons

In addition to the heirloom tomato seeds we bought in Pennsylvania last spring , we also picked up a packet of melon seeds. Jenny Lind melons are a variety of cantaloupe from the 1800s, and we gave it a try on a whim since it was described as cold-hardy. We always had trouble getting melons to ripen in our relatively short growing season, so this seemed like a reasonably good bet. We picked the first one at the very end of August: As you can see, they have a funny shape. The bump on top is not the end that connects to the vine, by the way.  The inside is also different: It’s a cantaloupe, but it’s green instead of orange. (This one has already had its seeds scooped out.) I’m not a huge melon fan — with the notable exception of melons we grow in our garden. These are sooooo sweet and juicy and fragrant that they’re really a totally different thing from the sad melons you get in a restaurant fruit cup or from the grocery store. This didn’t disappoint! It