It's an apple year on the mountain. According to the old-timers, we only get an apple harvest once every 7 or 8 years. The rest of the time, the apple blossoms either freeze with late snows, or they blow right off the trees with spring winds. This year, however, the tree limbs are heavy with a bumper crop of apples. Well.... most apple trees have a bumper crop.
In the interest of full disclosure, we have an apple tree in our front yard, and it has a measly 6 apples on it. I'm not complaining, though. That's 6 more apples than we usually have on our tree. But when we go for walks, we see tree branches hanging over the road with oodles of apples. They're all over the ground, too.
And you know something, the old- timers are right! It's only the second time I've seen an apple harvest in my decade of living on the mountain. We have unspeakably horrible springs around here. Yucky, terrible, apple blossom-hating springs.
So what do you do when it's an apple year on the mountain? You make lots of apple sauce and apple desserts.
(Second full disclosure: These apples are not from the trees around here. "Real" apples, as my kids call them, are much uglier and therefore not picture worthy. They still taste amazing though. Don't judge an apple by it's peel!)
If you don't have an apple peeler... you must invest in one. They take all the work out of apple preparation. I bought this one at the hardware store for under $20.00. WORTH. EVERY. PENNY.
After 5 minutes of cutting, I had an entire crockpot filled with apple slices.
I took the scraps, minus the cores, out to the hens for a delicious little treat. (Chickens can't eat apple seeds.)
When I got home this evening, I mashed the apples with a potato masher, added sugar and cinnamon to taste, and Voila! Easy Apple Sauce to go with our dinner.
When I make apple sauce for canning, I cook it down on the stove. It's much quicker, but I didn't have the time to make it that way today. When you're short on time, the crockpot is the way to go!