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Friday, November 5, 2010

Report Back on Apples & Tomatoes…and My Red {Not So} Delicious Apple Experiment

Two weeks ago I asked for your best recipes for preserving apples and tomatoes. And you delivered – big time! In fact, recipes are still coming in and I look forward to having that post as a resource for years to come! (If you haven’t shared yet and want to, please click here and comment!)

I figured I should report back and let you know what I actually ended up making. I kept it kind of simple.

Everything is delicious and I’m excited to have all these goodies stocked away in our freezer. Actually, we haven’t eaten the cobbler yet, but I’m thinking we can’t go wrong with that one!

A few notes on my experience. First, WOW…it takes a long time to prep the apples and tomatoes! Second, the tomato sauce is SO good and tastes SO fresh, can’t wait to pull that out of the freezer in the middle of the winter. Third, it was fun making everything, but definitely took more time than I expected. But the house sure did smell good during all that time! Fourth, boy am I glad we bought a chest freezer.

While we’re talking apples, a word on Red Delicious. It’s official. I hate ’em. I’ve always had a thing against red delicious apples. I recently saw local, organic, tiny, adorable red delicious apples at the market. I thought to myself, “Maybe I haven’t given red delicious a fair shake. Maybe if I eat a nice, fresh version, it will actually taste good.” Nope. Tasted just as bad as I figured it would. Too bad because they look so good!

My friend Anna convinced me that they do have good flavor and I agree they probably make a nice juice…but as far as eating them straight up. BLECH. That is the result of my red {not so} delicious apple experiment. You can try to convince me otherwise, but I doubt I will be convinced!


22 Comments »

  1. 1
    Kim

    I’ve never liked red delicious either. I like my apples REALLY crisp and they just don’t ever cut it.

    My new favorite that we just discovered last year are Gold Rush–they are kind of ugly apples, so the stores don’t usually carry them, but if you ever see them at a farmer’s market or an orchard, try some! They almost have a spicy flavor to them.

  2. Congrats on putting up all of that food! I’m sure you’ll be delighted when you take it out of the freezer in February. My in-laws have an extra freezer for all of the venison, veggies and fruit they put up and they love it (wish we had one but we don’t have the space). I put up 30 lbs of tomatoes this summer (canned in water, jam, sauce, oven-roasted) and am excited to enjoy those this winter.

    If you ever find yourself with bushels of apples again, apple butter is wonderful too. Here’s the recipe I use: http://togetherinfood.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/slow-jams-pluot-jam-apple-butter-recipe/.

  3. I thought I was the only one!! I cannot stand red apples. Just greeen for me! People think I’m nuts. The only red apple I can tolerate is the Jazz apples they sell at Harris Teeter.

  4. You’ve been a busy lady! I would love to have that many containers of apple goodies to put into my freezer. So glad you had a chance to try my applesauce. Thanks for the mention.

    • Jane Maynard

      the recipe was great! so so so easy…and my girls love it 🙂 for that matter, so do Nate and I!

  5. 5
    kidkopf

    Jane, Don’t feel bad. I think I was turned against apples in my youth because of Red Delicious. (Coming from WA state, that’s a bit guilt-inducing!) Red and Golden Delicious were nearly the only kind that were available in our house and I didn’t like them, although the Goldens are better. It’s taken 30 years and many varieties for me to come to the realization that it is the texture that is the problem, even though the flavor isn’t great either (some one told me recently that the Reds were “over-engineered” for their color and that resulted in terrible apple we know now). I buy Honeycrisp and Fuji, mostly, but enjoy many other kinds as well. My local organic delivery had a special deal this fall where there was “mystery” apple–amore rare variety–each week that we got to try. That was fun! There are so many varieties out there, you can’t fell bad about passing one up. 🙂 My parents have apple trees that grow not-too-great apples, but BOY, do my kids love that applesauce they make!

  6. it’s so funny – my daughter (who has just started reading) was in the grocery with me and begged for the Red Delicious apples because she was able to read the sign and thought they sounded, well…delicious. I was trying to convince her that they weren’t! They are my least favorite apple. So we ended up getting 2 Red Delicious ones for her and Macintosh ones for the rest of the family. Needless to say, she ate one of hers and the other one is still sitting in the fruit basket 😉

    • Jane Maynard

      since we’ve moved to california, we can’t find macintosh apples. my husband who is from new hampshire claims they are the only apple! 🙂 I could see them certainly kicking the red delicious apple’s patooties…but that is ADORABLE why she wanted to buy them!! 🙂

  7. 7
    Mawa

    Now you see why ‘homemaker’ really was a career – in order to make it through the winter in the olden days it took months to preserve enough food. The rest of the time was spent growing it and harvesting it. Not to mention the ‘make all your own clothes’ part the job. I think I prefer my life to my grandmother’s (who would have been a generation older than your grandmother’s generation.)

    It is fun to make your own and freeze it – just glad you don’t have to!

    • Jane Maynard

      not to mention the WASHING all the clothes!! yes, can’t imagine life as my great-grandmother on the dry farm in Idaho…

  8. 8
    Jessie

    I have to agree YUCK to the Red Delicious! I really love Honeycrisp’s and Macintosh’s are my favorites! They both are yummy to eat and cook with!

  9. Every week I try a new variety of apple from the farmer’s market. All have been super delicious. My current favorite: winesap.

  10. 10
    Cathie

    Love this post. Can you tell me where you got the tin containers with the lids? I’m making some meals for a friend and those would be perfect. Thanks.

    • Jane Maynard

      for the containers – just at safeway (run-of-the-mill grocery store), they are in the food storage aisle near plastic bags, foil wrap, etc…these came in a pack of three 🙂

  11. 11
    Janna

    AMEN! Red not-licious apples are a grainy let-down. And, having grown up near Nate, I can testify that macintosh apples really do have a superb flavor. I prefer mine even more crisp than the macintosh, though. If you’re ever in Vermont, you MUST try the cider from Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Unbelievable flavor, and best cider donuts in the country. You can actually order their stuff online if you’re curious enough.

  12. 12
    Suzy

    I will only eat Granny Smiths, pink ladys, and the occasional Fuji. I despise red and yellow delicious and most other apples and it is definitely a texture thing. They just seem really chalky-feeling in my mouth and it is disgusting! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with this problem 🙂

  13. 13
    Maurita

    Applesauce! Don’t bother with time-consuming prep… quarter them, skin, cores, seeds, and all. Stick them in a pot, add 1/2 to 1 inch of water, cider, or apple juice in the bottom, and cook, covered, until all the apples are completely soft.

    Then run them all through a Foley Food Mill — see http://tinyurl.com/39opw8g — and you have wonderful applesauce. I like the faint reddish color that the skin imparts to my applesauce, if you hate that, and want only the pale kind, -then- you have to peel the apples. I never, ever, bother.

  14. I remember red delicious apples tasting much better when I was a kid. My favorite this year was honey crisp. I never had them before. Their name describes them well.

  15. 15
    Susan

    I am not a fan of red delicious. Really love the honey crisp and pink lady’s if those aren’t available. It’s totally a texture thing for me. Red delicious are too mealy (sp?).

  16. 16
    Katie

    I completely agree! They’re gross. Not crisp and the taste is bland when you just eat them. They make really good applesauce though when combined with melrose (another really bad apple to eat raw).

  17. 17
    Katie

    Also! Tomatoes do take forever if you don’t have a food mill (which I don’t…yet!) but the apples took no time at all. I bought this: http://www.amazon.com/Starfrit-93013-Pro-Apple-Peeler-slicer/dp/B000X9EQ7Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1289230697&sr=8-2 a couple years ago and my husband and I got it out one Saturday, put in a movie, and peeled, cored, and quartered 2 bushels of apples in about an hour. It looks like it’s made cheaply and we’ll see how long it lasts but it is so easy to use! If you’re working with preserving big batches of apples, I’d get one of these and an apple quarterer (is that the word?). We now have gallons of applesauce that we made on one Saturday afternoon.

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