It’s Apple Season…Right Now!

Freshly picked Gravenstein apples (Photo © 2011 Ann Del Tredici) 

It is the peak of apple season right now.

All year long I look forward to this time of year. Right now I am canning applesauce, drying apple slices in a food dehydrator,  eating crisp Gravenstein apples…and making a few apple pies. My kitchen is like a small factory!

This morning’s production of Gravenstein applesauce (Photo © 2011 Ann Del Tredici)
 

Our dear neighbors have a Gravenstein apple tree but they don’t use the apples.  So, for years, my husband and I, after dinner, have picked up all the fallen ones and hand-picked the ripe ones from a ladder. We put out the fallen ones for the wildlife in our yard–California Blacktail deer, wild Rio Grande turkeys, opossum, raccoons, birds and bees. Even the gophers come up from the dirt below to gnaw on the fallen ones. We eat and cook with the picked ones!

Apple tree in bloom in Spring (Photo: tree-pictures.com)

Apples up high in the tree (Photo © 2012 Ann M. Del Tredici)

Gravenstein apples are rarely seen in stores because they do not stay crisp and delicious for more than a few days–but they are wonderful apples when they are “just picked.” Right off the tree, they snap when you bite into them and they have a delicate, ethereal flavor unlike any other apple. When they are getting close to ripe, and getting enough sun, they develop bright red streaks–while keeping their “apple green” in the background.

Just-picked Gravenstein apples (Photo © 2012 Ann M. Del Tredici)

I grew up with a gigantic Gravenstein apple tree in the yard–it was two stories high! My childhood duty during apple season was to go outside every morning with a bucket and pick up all the fallen apples. My mother would quickly trim away the bruises and magically turn them into thick applesauce using a chinois sieve with a heavy wooden pestle. I still use her precious equipment today. She occasionally made wonderful pies with them–and taught me how to also–using just cinnamon–no nutmeg!

And, every year, I make our neighbors Scott and Susan a “thank you” pie from their own apples–just to thank them for sharing their wonderful fruit with us–and for letting me carry on my old ceremonial rituals–including making an apple pie–just like my mother’s ♥

Apple pie made with Gravenstein apples (Photo © 2011 Ann Del Tredici)
 

Postscript

Here is one of the beautiful male deer that comes into the garden for the fallen apples (his antlers are “in velvet”)

Male deer in velvet (Photo © 2011 Ann Del Tredici)


….and one of the wild Rio Grande male turkeys–they love little bites of fallen apples.

Tom Turkey in the garden (Photo © 2011 Ann Del Tredici)
 

© 2011 Ann M. Del Tredici, MS, RD, CDE

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About Ann M. Del Tredici, MS, RD, CDE

I am enthusiastic about food~~growing it, shopping for it, cooking some of it, photographing it, writing and talking about it, sometimes making paintings of it~~and eating it! I come from a long line of fruit growers, wine makers, dairy farmers, professional bakers, terrific cooks, artists and teachers. I am trained in biochemistry, food science and nutrition. I am a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator in Marin County, California.
This entry was posted in Apple Pie, Apples, Applesauce, Food, Fruit Season, Gravenstein Apples and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s Apple Season…Right Now!

  1. Neeks says:

    Wonderful wonderful post, reminds me so strongly of growing up in NH, *cough* many years ago. Every fall we went as a family and picked apples at nearby orchards. We always got some apple cider, and then had the most delicious apple things to eat for a month! Thank you so much for bringing these memories back, I miss home!

  2. So glad you enjoyed, Neeks! I bet New Hampshire apples are wonderful! That must have been fun to go as a family and pick them from the trees!

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