Forget this wicked heat we're having. I'm ready for Fall. It's my favorite time of year, hands down. I especially look forward to apples fresh off the trees and making lots of tasty things with them.
When I was a kid living in Connecticut, I was lucky enough to have a place called Silverman's Farm nearby where we could actually go into the orchard and pick the apples. We'd take a couple of those long, rectangular cardboard baskets that had a wooden handle with us into the field of apple trees. I remember reaching as high as I could and pulling gently at the branch with one hand and carefully plucking off the apples with the others. We were very careful not to damage the trees, per the instructions passed down from the person who owned the farm.
I first went there on a field trip in kindergarten (I still have the button that I was given on that trip - a red apple with a face) and went every year until several years after I graduated from college. By then, the "pick-your-own" liberty had been revoked. When I asked why one year, I was told that too many tourists from out-of-state had acted recklessly over the years and caused a lot of damage. Not sure if that's true, but it did make sense that they would want to protect their crop.
As you can probably guess, we would often use the apples to make some splendid pies, both with and without pie crust tops. One of my favorites is a great apple crumb pie recipe that was passed down from my great-grandmother - a true New England Yankee who knew how to cook fabulous and simple dishes.
After many years of making my pies from scratch, I finally figured out that I was being greatly slowed down by the apple peeling process. Who out there likes to peel apples by hand? None of you? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Anyhow, I started looking around and finally bought an apple peeler.
What a delight! It cut my time immensely and brought a lot of joy back to the process.
I highly suggest that you get one for yourself. Make sure it is made of all metal parts (the plastic ones aren't strong enough to last long) and the model shown in the picture here is one of the best engineered for the work you need done. You won't be sorry!
Originally posted on Ellery's Kitchen, August, 2000
I'm April Bailey, a freelance writer and editor for hire who has been writing about various topics for many years. Most of my early print work was destroyed in a major house fire. Luckily, I was able to pull some copies from an old PC and have posted them here. Other items on this blog reflect my current articles and blog posts written for online publications and copied here so I never lose my work again!