Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Apples Everywhere... What to do.... What to do....

The apple trees are drooping with a zillion apples! Or maybe a couple hundred. We have two apple trees in the yard, and unfortunately in the front yard too! It's not the most aesthetically pleasing location, but these trees have made this place home. It's rather sad because the drooping limps are blocking half of the driveway. I bumped my head a few weeks ago trying to get out of my car! Not fun! But the apples are the biggest reward!

Below: Lots and lots of apples!

When we bought the house close to 10 years ago, the front yard was empty. So my parents took the family to Lowe's and we (my younger sister and I) got to pick out the trees to plant in the yard. We picked out two apple trees, one plum tree, and one pear tree. The variety for the apple trees is "golden delicious." However, they are more tart than they are sweet. They are wonderful baking apples, and I do enjoy eating them raw.

For 2-3 years after we planted the tree, the harvest was slow, but the tree was small. As it grew in size and as the years passed, the apples became more abundant and they grew larger in size. I think this years harvest beats the others. The apples are larger and a little bit sweeter. Last year's frost pretty much killed all of the fruit trees in our yard, so I'm quite excited about this year's crop!

Below: My latest harvest of apples

My sister has also been busy harvesting apples to give to her co-workers. As for me, I enjoy finding different ways to cook and use the apples in the kitchen. Yesterday, I baked a home-made apple pie for my writer's group. Homemade crust and home grown apples-- There's not a better combination.

Everyone loved the pie, and they even asked for the recipe. What better compliment can you get? I love baking pies, pastries, and cakes. I actually love cooking in general, so I was excited to hear that someone other than my close family and friends enjoys my cooking!

Below: Yummy homemade apple pie, and a slice of the pie!

In addition to baking apple pies, I had to find other ways to use my apples. I plan on making apple sauce, apple crisps, apple butter, and apple preserves this summer. I might not get to all of these, but it's fun to think about.

Below: Following my apple theme, here's what I had for lunch today.

As the main dish, I had lightly battered and fried tilapia, topped with baked apples (cooked in butter and agave nectar). For sides, I had sauteed spinach with caramelized garlic and a piece of apple pie. It was delicious!

Below: A closer look at my culinary creativity at work!

The meal was actually pretty good. I'm usually a creative cook. Although I sometimes follow recipes, most of the time I don't. I see what I have, and I create meals with my on-hand ingredients. Although it's not always successful, it never goes horrible awry. I really enjoy cooking. I think I would make a lovely Southern wife and housewife. LoL.

Anyway, what are some of your suggestions for my apples?


tina said...

OMG! It all looks so good!

Skeeter said...

Looks to me like you are on your way with many great ideas for those beautiful golden treats! Your pie and cooked apple look great! My grandmother would Can some for the winter months.

Dave said...

Alright, now I have to go get a couple apple trees! I can just imagine all those goodies in our kitchen! Applesauce, apple pie, apple butter,...I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Eve said...

Envy is just eating at me. LOL...

I love the pics of the food. It all looks so delicious. I would like to raise apples but we are in a zone where we have to raise the apples that don't need much chilling and they do not taste that good to me, so I skip them.

Have you made apple dumplings? Mama made them all them all the time when I was growing up.

lacey said...

OMG, I need an apple tree now! And that pie looks so good!

Another good apple treat is apple crisp. It's pretty easy to make too :)

Cindy said...

Your apples look so good. And that apple pie looks out of this world. It's been so long since I had a good piece of pie.
Like Eve, I think you should make apple dumplings. My Mom would make them with a cinnamon cream sauce that was divine.

Gail said...

Delicious looking apples...are they Granny Smith by chance?

The pies are making my mouth water!


DP Nguyen said...

Hi Tina-Thank you!

Hi Skeeter-Canning sounds like a good idea. I had no idea people canned apples!

Hi Dave-Um, yum! Lots of great ideas. Watch out-those apple trees can get out of control, unless you're meticulous in the pruning. We kinda got lazy this year, so they are not the most attractive trees in our yard!

Hi Eve-I've never made apple dumplings. I'll have to give those a try. Sounds yummy though!

Hi Lacey-Hmm, I've heard about apple crisps. I might need to invest in a dehydrator. I'm too impatient to do it the old fashioned way. Hehe!

Hi Cindy-If you lived closer, I would love to bake you an apple pie! :-) APple dumplings sound delicious. I'll have to give it a try.

Hi Gail-Nope, they are golden delicious, but they do taste more like granny smith to me. Maybe the trees were incorrectly labeled when we originally bought it. :-D