When life hands you apples…….

I have written before about my love of apples. It’s deep.
I have been an apple a day girl as long as I can remember.
They store well. You can throw one in your purse and carry it about until you are ready to eat it.
In fact, if you were to ask me what I always have in my bag, you’d find my wallet, ponytail holders, chapstick, a water bottle and an apple.
Those are my essentials.

Mollie asked I bring some apples when we came for Oysterfest. I used this as my excuse to head out to Henley’s Orchard and grab a bushel of seconds. I also thought I’d get some non-seconds, and I printed out the coupon from the website that said, buy a peck, get a free gallon.
She’d also asked for some cider and I’d heard Henley’s made some good stuff. 
Now, I know everyone in Charlottesville goes to Carter’s Mountain for apples.  Yes, the views are great.  But it also can be completely overrun.  And as much as I love the cider donuts, the cider they sell is not made from their apples – at least, the stuff I’ve seen there the last few years wasn’t locally made. And I’m stickler for local.  So, when I heard on good authority that Henley’s had good, local cider, I decided to check them out.  I can say, I will never again go to Carter’s for large amounts of apples, nor cider.  The prices and the varieties at Henleys are far better. Oh, and that cider?  Heavenly. 
But I digress.
I went to Henley’s for apples and got a bushel of seconds, a peck of non-seconds and a free gallon.
I got a mixed bunch of varieties – heavy on my beloved Black Stem, but also some Fuji, and thanks to the suggestion of the young man working at Henley’s that day (who encouraged me to pick up an apple and try it), some Cameo and Mutsu apples.  I think he threw some Granny Smith into the seconds bushel as well.
I thought I’d get non-seconds to have on hand for eating.  But as I looked through my bushel, I noticed there were a number of small apples, which are actually my favorite, as well as Edie’s favorite.  Turns out they are considered seconds.  Next time, I might not even bother getting the non-seconds, because the difference between the two were slight in the selection I got.
Again, I digress.
A bushel, a peck and a gallon. 
That’s what they looked like on my kitchen floor.
I filled a 5 gallon bucket and took it to Mollie last weekend.  Barely made a dent.
We have eaten fried apples for dinner almost every night for 2 weeks.  I made a pie – actually two, because Mollie & I made one last weekend and since I got only a bite, I came home and immediately made another one.  This morning for breakfast, we had a pan of baked apples.  Snack time around here is, can you guess?  Apples.
I finally got around to trying my hand at apple butter.  I didn’t add as much sugar as is called for, so I’m wondering if that is why it took 3 full days in the crockpot.  It’s good though.  I definitely think I’m going to start another batch.  I also keep meaning to throw some pies in the freezer.  And I promised my husband some apple crisp. I am considering making a batch of applesauce too, although that will require me to go get more canning jars, as I’m out.  I have used every last one of them in canning and pickling this year.  And I added an extra 4 cases or so to the stash this year. 
I’ve realized that a bushel, a peck (which is half a bushel) and a gallon (which is half a peck), adds up to be one and three quarters of a bushel.  Not quite two bushels.   As soon as I got home and unloaded them, I realized I may have gotten too many apples.  Okay, the fact that they took up ample space in the large trunk of my car was a clue.  And full disclosure – I didn’t unload them, my dear husband did.  Without questioning the amount of apples I had just dragged home.  Which is precisely why, he will get an apple crisp tomorrow.
After all, I did make him baked apples for breakfast…

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