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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

September in the kitchen

This is about apple rings.   

I use a Victorio corer-peeler. Left to myself I would leave the peels on, but others have expressed interest in doing without them. These are fairly large Honeycrisp apples, from our next to last tree. Any of them will do for rings. Ours progress through the season thus: Gravenstein, Egremont Russet, MacIntosh, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Granny Smith. The Gravensteins make the best apple butter and we like the Honeycrisp for rings. We usually run out of steam by the time the Grannies roll around, and end up calling friends to come pick them.

I inspect each spiraled apple for browned wormholes and such (they are unsprayed, so we expect casualties) and cut these out. One slice down through the apple on one side separates the rings.

I dip the spiraled apple in water with salt, cinnamon, veggie leaf powder, and ginger. It takes about 36 to 40 Honeycrisps to fill a nine-tray dehydrator.

Each tray goes straight to the Excaliber Economy, which is turned on as soon as the first tray is in, to forestall exposure browning.

They say to cut out all bruises, but I've yet to spot a problem with our apples, which are a bit sweeter if allowed to drop. YMMV. Next year I hope to rig up a tarp to catch them and roll them into a basket, for more even results.

The dryer is in the potting shed. No need to be heating up the kitchen with it as we approach 90F outside today. (!!) The house is buttoned up with night air in it and the curtains are drawn. In cooler weather I will bring the dryer in and let it help warm the house.

We often store our rings in oven canned half gallon mason jars. We serve them from a repurposed Adams peanut butter jar. These are some Granny Smiths from last year. I think. You can see that they shrivel a bit and are brown and chewy compared to sulfured dried apples, but they work just fine as snacks or in baked goods. You can quite easily make far more dried apples than you are likely to use. We do it anyway, as they are decent prepper rations. Any holdovers that are over two years old may be a bit of a Spartan exercise to enjoy, so we give them to the compost.

The leftover peels and cores may be regarded as a kind of pomace. They make pretty good vinegar, but we have lots of that. So these are headed out to the chicken moat, where they will attract bugs that will be snapped up by the hens, who will then eat the cores and peels later for dessert.

After this job, I'll head out to round up the winter squash, which need to season a bit before being stashed near the wood stove. A couple of them have been chewed by gophers, so I'll steam those this week and stuff them with some rice, tofu, beet greens and tomatoes.


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