Thursday, November 21, 2013


Miss Ruth Kellogg demonstrating correct postures for various forms of housework. 1921-26.
Source: Div. Rare & MS Collections, Cornell U. Library

Since my first trip to the orchard, I've been doing a little bit of this nearly every day. Peeling and slicing a few apples.

Some of the slices have been going directly into the freezer, lined up neatly on a tray. The following day, those individually-frozen slices are popped into a labelled bag, and the tray is used to freeze the next batch.

Can you see traces of pink?
These are Macintosh.

Come Winter, I hope to do some very nice baking with these beautiful frozen apples. Won't that make Winter a warmer, friendlier place to be?

Well, that's my plan. Here's hoping.
I'll let you know.


Meanwhile, there's been some Autumn baking with fresh apples. Mostly, I've been tinkering with one simple recipe, changing up and experimenting. Remember the accidental apple-cranberry bisconey?

Last week I tried making it again: with apples, no cranberries, less sugar, and lots of cinnamon:

It came out with a dense, moist texture.
Not bad.

And yesterday, I tried another riff: making the batter a bit richer and more cake-like, mixing a whole cup of cranberries into the batter, and then adding sliced apples to the top.

Again, quite different in texture and flavor. Again, not bad.
Very surprising the way some of the cranberries migrated to the surface, right over the apple slices.
How did they do that?


For a person who doesn't really cook much, I am having a lot of fun in the kitchen lately. And it's all because of this:

A small, nearby orchard with a wonderful array of apple varieties. Such fun choosing! Hmmmm...certainly the old familiar Macs I grew up with, but also, well, I'll try a few of these Spitzenburgs (could Thomas Jefferson be wrong? about apples???) and I'll add a few Winesaps, and some Rhode Island Greenings, and oh, I almost missed the Golden Russets, and...excuse me for a second, I'll just carry these out to the car and then I'll be back in for the cider.

Oh. The. Cider.

The gloriously fragrant, snappy-sweet cider.

In the past two weeks, I have never been far from a glass of cider. I think this pressing may be the very best fresh cider I have ever tasted in my entire cider-loving life.

I wish I could pour you a glass right now.
Come on over.


I'll be going back to the orchard in a day or two, because I am out of apples (!) and about to open my last gallon of cider (!!). I'm waiting for a day that's warm enough to take Piper with me, for a walk along the stone walls.

It's a pretty place, this old orchard, where hard work - so often the backstory to "pretty" in a human-altered landscape - is evident everywhere you look.

The view also offers a nifty example of relativity!
I mean, look here:

Trees, right? An orchard full of big, fruitful trees.

But then you put those very trees next to a forest: 

Whoa! Quite a shift in perspective, no?

And then, you put that forest into a forested landscape as far as the eye can see:

Relativity: just something to think about while you're peeling Autumn apples and keeping an eye on Winter.