Sunday, October 5, 2008

This week Natty and  I went apple picking and made apple butter. I went to college in Spokane, WA, which is serious apple/pear/fabulous fruit and vegetable country, but I haven't done that kind of thing since. Natty and I went to a farm that Marmee recommended (and had taken Natty to, so Natty felt like she was showing me around). We quickly picked a half bushel (20 lbs if you're like me and don't know how much a bushel is) of a variety of apples. Thankfully a lot of the trees had low fruit so Natty could pick. She wanted to carry the bag, but decided (correctly) that it was too heavy a few apples into the process. 
Then we came home and pottered about eating apples and making apple butter. We didn't really have the right equipment but that never stops me. I guess a crucial piece of equiment for true apple butter is a food mill or other puree-er and I didn't bother with that, so it never got smooth and buttery. It is more like intense, thick apple sauce. Still yummy. I did get a potato masher finally when a wooden spoon just wasn't working, even for my lax standards.
We had borrowed a apple corer/peeler/slicer from Marmee, so we did that processing, threw some spices in and went for it. Unfortunately, I put way too much cloves in. Nutmeg would have been ok, cinnamon even, but cloves numb your mouth when they're too strong. So it was back to the peeler/corer/slicer to process more (many more) apples to dilute the spicing. Fortunately we got our stuff from Alaska on Monday (O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!) so I had a pot to cook the plain apples in and add them to the over-cloved pot. After a few days of puttering (when I had the time) it finally turned out. 
Then I wanted to can it, but didn't have a pot tall enough for the jars I'd purchased. So back to the store for  smaller jars (I could have bought a tall stock pot instead, but the jars were quite cute. I'll have to get the stock pot another time). The canning worked so I've been passing the cute little jars out and still had some un-canned left over to put in pancakes Saturday morning - delicious. 
It was a good experience and appealed to my autumn nesting instinct enough that we'll probably go back to pick and process some more. It just seems the seasonal thing to do. 
Another good event this week was the first U Mass OB visit. I'm officially high-risk with this pregnancy so my visit included a Level 2 Ultrasound (very cool - even got 3-d pictures) with a perinatalogist, a talk with a genetics counselor and a Ob visit with a MD whom I liked immensely. All is going perfectly well with the baby. I'll continue to see that OB for my prenatals but of course don't know who will be "on" for the delivery. It was nice that she agreed that I'm a good candidate for a trial of labor and I got to let her know my comfort level vis a vis induction (no) and augmentation (no). 
We ended the week with a visit to Emmeline's school to see her play in her first varsity field hockey game!! It was great fun to watch her play and to hang out on the sidelines with the Carlisles. Natty was in heaven to be playing with her cousins - and they are fabulous with her. We went from the game to Jon and Abbie's for Jon's birthday celebration - Abbie made an amazing dinner and we had an autumnal evening around a cozy fire. 
I keep encountering funny cultural differences which remind me I'm in a new world and keeps life interesting. Sarah Palin incites lots of Alaskan comments/questions so that is an ongoing conversation with everyone. What a time to be an Alaskan transplant to New England!
Today we came home in the rain and are ready for a new week. I start nights this week - good for the family schedule and we'll find out if I still have the night shift in me.

1 comment:

  1. I am so honored to be featured in the AK Traveller!

    Thank you guys for coming to celebrate with us- between the cooking and the cleaning, I couldn't have done it without the three of you.

    Looking forward to seeing you again soon. Next time we'll give you Natty's gloves from winter '07 (which we discovered today) and hopefully meet some other CT Buttners!