kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apple Harvest

Apple season is in full swing here in south central PA. 
It must have been a good growing year because they are big, beautiful, sweet and juicy!

Adams County is the premier apple growing area, just on the other side of the mountain from us.  This past week we drove down to one of my favorite fruit sellers, Hollabaugh's Orchards near Biglerville.

Yes, they do pumpkins too!

There were all varieties of beautiful apples displayed in baskets, but I pick mine from the big bins of less-than-perfect fruit .  For $15 we got a big bag of beautiful large apples.  You would never guess that they are 'seconds'.

We put about eight different varieties in our bag, many with the word 'crisp' in their names, Honey Crisp, Sun Crisp, Autumn Crisp, plus Rome and I can't remember what else.

With well over two dozen apples, and knowing I would never be able to eat them all fresh, there was the decision about how to preserve them.  Last year I made and froze applesauce.  Most of it is still in the freezer. 

In my younger back-to-the-land days we did a lot of preserving fruits and veggies.  One of the methods was drying them.  I started with sun drying on window screens (well washed, of course!)  Then  bought a box type dehydrator with a fan and a light bulb in the back.  It was not the most efficient appliance and I soon grew tired of all the switching of trays trying to get even dryness.  Then I bought a really nice dehydrator that worked perfectly.

But after Brad grew up and there were only two of us, we severely cut back on the gardening and harvesting of fruit.  The dehydrator went into the back of the pantry closet and gathered dust.

Now that I'm trying to eat healthy, the thought of dried apples as snacks seemed pretty appealing.
We dug out the dehydrator, washed it, and went to work.

And it was easy!!!  Just slice the apples nice and thin.

Arrange them on the plastic screens.

Let it run for about 5 hours.
And eureka!  Beautiful and yummy dried apple slices.

I then packed them in quart freezer bags to store in a cool, dry cupboard (and hope they don't mold!)

I am still on the Weight Watchers plan and doing well.  Having healthy foods to enjoy helps me stay focused.  Would you believe that I haven't had a donut in almost three months?  I don't miss them one tiny bit.  I am just so happy with my progress.

Others aren't doing so well.  The Big One hasn't lost an ounce.  He-he!  His exercise program on the treadmill has fizzled.  He's now doing upside-down pushups.

I must apologise to one of my readers, Donna, who emailed me about some hooked carrots/ears of corn that I had post a picture of over a year ago.  That email along with a bunch of others was accidentally lost.  This happens quite often and I can't understand what happens.  Could this be part of the problem???

Donna, I do not have that pattern personally.  It was the work of Linda Keller at Grant Street Woolworks.  She has a website where you can contact her. 

The lovely tree in Shippensburg was at it's peak this past week.  We went by yesterday and most of the leaves had fallen.  The fleeting beauty of nature!

Hope all of you are enjoying the delights of the season.
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Pat you sure hit the jackpot with all those big delicious apples.
    I dehydrate apples too but I won't have much time to go pick apples this year.
    One thing that I found out was that when I stored them in thin plastic bags, they lost their crispness after a while and were chewy and I had to place them in the oven to crisp them. I like them crisp.

    Now I store them in a glass jar with an air tight cover and they stay perfectly crisp.
    I'm sure that yours will preserve their freshness in freezer bags a they are thicker. I haven't tried Ziplock freezer bags yet.

    Enjoy your apples.

    Hugs, JB

    Good for you for sticking to WW's diet.

  2. The apples look so good, so happy that the loss is still going on. Kitties rule, where ever they may be. Blessings to you & Zip!!

  3. Those apples looked wonderful and what a brilliant idea to dry them for a healthy snack. I admire your will power over slimming ....well done ...I am so down because I cant get in to the zone. xx

  4. Pat ~
    GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU!!! Your dried apple slices look so yummy!
    Great kitty pics. Love the "Big One".
    Congrats on your continued willpower.
    Hugs :)

  5. I love your dehydrator what a fantastic gizmo!!! Enjoy your apple slices and keep up your good work :-)

  6. How delightful to meet you, Pat. Thanks for dropping by tonight. Those apples look amazing and I am so happy to meet your cats. I look forward to following along and hope to see lots of them. Hugs, Deb (Ontario, Canada)

  7. Me again - looks like you are the winner of my give-away. Pop over.

  8. Hi again Pat
    I know...I'm to soft for my own good regarding the fish. lol
    Glad to hear they get a nice life in the end.
    When I lived at home we had a black iron range, it gave out so much heat we had to open all the doors sometimes. lol
    My mum used to use black lead stuff to polish it, boy was it great in the winter, you could cook in it, boil kettles etc similar to the posh rayburns of today.
    Ah, memories...
    Keep safe with the storm approaching
    Lots of love

  9. P.S.
    Great prize in Debs give away, well done the Gods must be looking down on you. lol


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