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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Fresh Apples and Sea Glass

Yesterday was an apple-picking day. When we planned our orchard, we guessed at when some fruits would ripen in our own yard and hoped for a variety of fruits and berries that would be ready over the course of the entire season, not all at once. We began with 5 apple trees. We've now lost two of them and are down to an early, a late, and a very late apple. 


Over the past couple of weeks, I have been finding some of the early apples here and there on the ground in the garden, partially chewed then discarded by either raccoons or squirrels. Time to beat those little rascals to our fruit, even if they're still a bit green. So, yesterday I took the large stock-pot, 2 ladders, and a jacket with deep pockets out to the orchard. Luckily for me, I'm still able to keep my balance on the ladders. I climb, fill my pockets with apples, then descend to add to the stock-pot. I came away with an overfull pot of apples yesterday. 

I did pretty well, only dropping 2 apples out of the whole bunch. When I realized I was getting tired and was likely to make a mistake or lose my balance, I called it quits for the day. This afternoon, I'll see if I can reach those last few apples.


The ripening of the early apples serves as a reminder that summer doesn't last forever and cooler weather is on its way. It's a bittersweet moment. I love the coziness of fall weather, but I love summer so much and know that I will miss it terribly until it arrives once again next year. This feeling serves as an impetus for me to get out there and do those summery things that I love, such as beach combing for sea glass. 

Remember my wire-wrapping jewelry? Well, I'm working on wrapping some of the sea glass that I've collected over the years to make pendants, earrings, and beads for a necklace or bracelet. The learning curve isn't too steep for wire-wrapping sea glass, but my technique is still definitely an in-progress thing. But it's been fun seeing what I can do with my collection of glass pieces. Here's a piece of green sea glass wrapped in silver wire to use as a pendant.



Back to those apples -- later yesterday afternoon, I cooked a pot of caramel sauce for dipping apple pieces. 



If you love the taste of caramel apples but are not keen on the precision for making a thick caramel coating for whole apples, an imprecise caramel sauce is just the thing. I like to cut the apples into wedges and place them around a pool of caramel sauce. This makes a delicious dessert or snack for my family members (and of course, for me).


And now, I'm back out to the orchard to get those last early apples. I hope you are enjoying these fleeting summer days!

20 comments:

  1. You are right! Summer is slipping away quickly. Here in Michigan it is still quite warm but I know it won't last. Your apples look delicious.

    Alice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alice,
      The days here have been quite nice and summer-like, but I've noticed that the nights are longer and mornings are cooler. How quickly summer slips away!

      Have a great weekend, Alice!

      --Lili

      Delete
  2. That sea glass pendant is just beautiful! What a lovely thing to make. Is the sea glass literally just pieces of glass you pick up at the beach?

    And caramel apples, yum, a favorite! How great that you got so many off the tree which more to come. Our (2)apple trees are just starting to bear (planted about 5 years ago), and didn't have many on them, but the squirrels beat us to them. We were discussing if we need to try to use bird netting next year. They've been stealing the pears as well, which are just about ready to harvest (but most are gone!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cat,
      Yes, just glass bits found along the beach that have been weathered. Amazing how beautiful they are, isn't it?

      Oh, I can totally relate to how frustrating that is with the squirrels and tree fruit. It happens to us every single year, especially with the cherries. We've had to pick fruit underripe just to get our share. Bird netting might work, so might some sort of baffle on the trunks of the trees to keep squirrels from climbing. good luck!

      Have a wonderful weekend, Cat!

      --Lili

      Delete
  3. Yum - the apples and caramel sauce look scrumptious.
    And the sea glass jewelry is a wonderful idea!
    As always, thank you for your inspiration : )
    Jo Ann

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jo Ann,
      Thank you. I hope you're enjoying these last weeks of summer!

      Have a great weekend, Jo Ann!

      --Lili

      Delete
  4. I am amazed with how pretty your apples are. Around here apples are full of all kinds of problems unless you spray various things 5+ times a year. We have two old apple trees that have produced very little/none since we've been here. However, this spring we planted another apple tree to take their place. I tried to get one that was resistant to several of the common apple problems. Hopefully, in a couple of years, we'll start to get some good apples from it.

    The pendant is very pretty. You've figured out a very good way to display your sea glass collection.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      This particular variety of apple is one of the ones which is resistant to diseases for my area. I don't spray our trees at all, in part sheer laziness, but also I don't want to be exposed to the spray itself while I was spraying. Good luck with your new apple tree. My experience has been that when a catalog says a cultivar is resistant to a disease or pest that it may still have some issues,but mostly is better than some of the old, non-resistant cultivars.

      Thank you on the pendant. I'm still working on technique and really need a thicker gauge wire. When I buy some, I'll see if I can manipulate the wire more neatly.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Live and Learn!

      --Lili

      Delete
  5. Love the sea glass pendant. So pretty!

    Are you making applesauce or eating the apples whole? I don't think I'm brave enough to get on a ladder. Be careful and enjoy your produce. It's early here for apples but we have a ton of tomatoes and green beans. I also have some shredded zucchini that I need to bake up this afternoon. One of those jobs that I enjoy.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      Thank you!

      Right now, the apples are crisp, so we're eating them fresh. I did microwave one into a personal apple crisp, however. When the apples turn soft, I'll cook the rest in crisps or pies. Believe me -- I am being super careful on the ladder. The ladder is old and shaky, so it scares me.

      Tomatoes and green beans -- yum, lucky you! Our green beans didn't turn out this year and the tomatoes are still all green. What did you bake with the zucchini? We've just had one zucchini so far. I think my yard is just too shady for a lot of the typical summer vegetables. We have had a lot of greens, so that's a wonderful thing.

      have a great weekend, Kris!

      --Lili

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    2. I was given a monster-sized zucchini from our VRBO hosts in WY and I still have some left! I've made 2 loaves of zucchini bread and a zucchini cake so far. Our neighbor gifted us with another huge one so I guess I'd better get baking again. We finally got a (normal sized) zucchini from our own garden. We like to saute them with lemon juice/orange juice and fresh herbs as a side dish.

      Our garden is partially shaded so I'm surprised our tomatoes do so well. We always seem to get a lot of green beans--the climbers seem to be better producers than the bush beans. I'm especially glad for our garden produce since there have been so many recalls of produce from the grocery stores recently.

      Delete
    3. Hi Kris,
      Your zucchini bread and cake sound delicious! What a treat!

      Delete
  6. Just curious, I posted a comment this morning asking about the sea glass pendant (we don't have beaches here in OK) and talking about apples, and it doesn't show up. I'd think it was a blip but I also had a comment not show up several weeks ago and wondered why. I thought it was polite and followed guidelines, but if I'm saying something appropriate, please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cat,
      It's not you or your comments! I'm so sorry about the issues. It's this wonky blogging platform. It's free, but it has sooooo many issues. All comments now go into the "needs moderation" folder. Sometimes, I get an email saying I have a new comment, but sometimes I don't. I have to manually check the "needs mod." folder and I sometimes forget for a few days. And that's why a comment may not show up for several days, like this one. You are being polite -- promise!
      Again, so, so sorry about that.

      Delete
  7. What a beautiful pendant!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Lili. Oops! Tried to reply and my post disappeared :( If this winds up being a duplicate, please remove it!

    I had commented that apples were the first thing I learned to "preserve" by freezing when I was a newlywed and my neighbor offered me as many of her apples as I wanted. I got out my Joy of Cooking book and learned about freezing them. I never used many recipes from that book but learned a lot about kitchens and cooking reading that thick tome.

    The seaglass is lovely. We have it here too in the Outer Banks, though it continues to become increasingly rare due to the decreased use of glass and more people looking for it. I took a wire wrapping class 15 years ago, but my efforts got interrupted and I've not done any wrapping since then. I've still got the tools, beads, wire, etc to make it and other jewelry pieces. I need to watch a few You Tube videos to refresh my memory as I've forgotten everything I learned! So thanks for the memory jog, Lili. Maybe I can try making a few items for Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn,
      Joy of Cooking is one of the most useful "how to do anything" cookbook, I think. I'll check out what it says about preserving apples. Thanks!

      The less-frequented beaches in my area seem to have the most sea glass. The same seems to be true of whole sea shells, too. I love these tiny treasures from the beaches! Your wire wrapping class sounds like it must have been fun.

      Have a great weekend, Lynn!

      Delete
  9. The apples look delicious and the pendant is so beautiful.Thank you for sharing.
    Patti from San Diego

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Patti.
      I hope all is well with you. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Delete

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