Monday, July 25, 2011

Apple Picking...for Free!

Last week I had the opportunity to go and pick free organic apples.  DH has a work friend with an apple tree in his backyard.  He is single and lives alone; not much of a canner.  When he heard DH raving about how wonderful a cook and canner I am (I'm embellishing for the sake of the story), he offered up his apples, since they are just getting in the way of the lawn mower at his place. 

I went to Menards and purchased a fruit picker (which was ridiculously expensive:  $25.00!!!) However, it will pay for itself this year in the money I save buying apples at the orchard this fall.  DH's friend warned us that it was a really tall tree, so we threw some baskets and the ladder in the back of the van and headed over. 

DH told me on the way over, "I'm just going along to watch; I found you the apples, so I'm going to sit back and relax."  Yet who do we see picking the apples in the pictures?  He is...because he LOVES me...

He is even seen here to be utilizing the stepladder and the apple picker at the same time. 

As you can see, I got quite a few apples.  I'm not sure how this translates into apple measurements...but I think it is at least a bushel.  Now I have to figure out what to do with them all.  I was a little surprised that there were apples ready so early in the year.  I did some checking, and I am fairly certain they are called 'Lodi' apples. 

From what I read about them, Lodi apples are often considered the first apple of the season, ready in mid July.  They are an improvement on their parent variety, called Yellow Transparent.  I would consider most of the Lodi apples to be green though.  I wonder if many people confuse them with the yellow transparents.  They are very soft, and very tart.  They have an extremely sharp taste, that comes through even with the cooking.  It seems as if they are used almost exclusively for applesauce due to how quickly they cook down.  I am wondering however, if this will make  it hard to use them for other things.  They are definitely not good fresh eating apples. 

I know after all the help I got from DH getting these apples, he's curious to see what I do with them.  I'm going to make applesauce with them for sure, and experiment with some other recipes.  They do not store well  at all, only a week or two by most accounts, so I need to use them FAST.  If you know of any uses for Lodi apples, please comment.  I am also in need of recipes, keeping in mind that these apples cook to mush very quickly.  Thanks for the comments!


  1. What?!!?!? How do you have apples already but they aren't ready in Wisconsin, yet? Man, I am so jealous!

  2. MBT - I didn't know there was a kind of apples that ripened this early either...but who am I to argue with free apples? I'm just thankful I have time to deal with this fruit before the tomatoes start coming in.

  3. Apples look great! Make some apple chuttney, apple cupcakes, dry some apple chips. Lots you can do! Dont forget to make something for me!

  4. I am going to send the Hubs and kids to get some Lodis from a local orchard this week. In addition to apple chips and applesauce, I am going to try to make some apple vodka out of some.

  5. ClaimingOurSpace- vodka sounds interesting.

  6. What about an old-fashioned apple pie? That'd be my favorite. I wonder how Lodi apples would be in a pie?


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