Saturday, October 11, 2008

Apple Picking in Indiana

Last Sunday we loaded up the family and drove to our favorite orchards in Laport County Indiana - Michigan City area. It was a lovely day, and although we had a smaller time window than our usual lazy day, we didn't feel time pinched.

We go each year with our neighbors Melissa and Lew and their girls. This year we added Melissa's brother Collins and his family. Traffic was easy and that set the tone for the day.

We started at Radkes. They have had their orchard in the family for over 100 years, and they have a tractor pulled wagon and apple pullers made out of 2 liter soda bottles and PVC pipe. They have lots of younger trees and all the trees were heavy with fruit. We picked mostly golden delicious, golden russets and musta apples at Radkes, because as much as we love the honey candy and the pumpkins, we are really waiting for our favorite fruit farm to open at noon.

Pavolka's Fruit Farm is the grail orchard for us. Owned by Dorothy Pavolka, it's been in the family for over 80 years. They have some younger trees planted, but they also have older varieties that we love. Melissa and I each picked 20# of Wolf River apples for baking. Three apples will fill a towering pie and collapse during baking into a cinnamony mush - I'm not a fan of the crunchy apple pie. We filled bags with our favorite eating apples, but not before enjoying a picnic under the trees.

One hundred pound of apples heavier, we headed home. This week I have been inspired by apples to make and apple pie and apple sauce (2 times). The first batch of apple sauce made me want to make latkes (for how else do you bring two diverse cultures together but through the fried potato?).

Microwave applesauce -
Fill a microwave safe bowl with peeled and sliced apples. We have one of those crank apple peelers that cut the apples into spirals. This uniform thickness makes it easy. I use a white porcelain souffle dish.
Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap.
Put in the microwave on high for three (3) minutes.
Uncover and stir. The apples should be getting mushy.
Put back in the microwave for 3 more minutes.
Take it out and mash the slices with a fork or a pastry knife (my all purpose mashing tool for avocados, bananas, and applesauce.)
Let it cool a little (it's going to be HOT!) and then check and see if it is sweetenough for you. If it is, you can add cinnamon if you would like. If not, add a bit of sugar to taste.
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So What Are We? Chewish? by Kate Tabor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.