First I picked through and took out all the unblemished and bug-free apples. Those go straight to trays in the garage, where they will stay cool and fresh and can be enjoyed without a sharp knife and fear-of-bugs. This year I actually got a pretty good number of such apples, which is really nice. Usually it's about 20%, but I'd say more like 35-40% this year. Woooooot!
Next up, sort out the pretty decent, but must-be-used-sooner ones. Those include apples with bruises from falling off the tree, little dings or nicks, a little mini rotten spot, a few small buggy bits, and so on. Finally, I was left with the crazy-buggy, but still-worth-keeping pile. Those are ones that will be cooked into applesauce or dehydrated into apple slices. Obviously, there was also a big 5-gallon bucket full of totally mushy or not-worth-fighting-over icky apples.
While I was in the midst of all this picking and sorting and general Apple TLC, the phone rang. I clamored out from under the apple tree, raced through the backyard, and ran in the kitchen. It's my awesome mom on the phone! Why is she calling, you ask? Well, she wants to know if I have any extra apples so that she can make applesauce with my brother's son and friend . Yes! So, some of these lightly dinged apples have already found a happy home. Usually I use the super buggy apples for apple sauce, but I didn't want to run the risk of totally freaking out the youngsters with apples full of rotten bits and bugs. I don't want to turn off any budding agricultural friends!
So, apples apples fee-fi-fo-fapples. I've got 'em. Plus, there are still about as many, if not more, left on the tree! Applesauce, dried apples, apple cake, apple cinnamon rolls, maybe some canned apple pie filling. Fresh apples, apple slices with peanut butter. What am I forgetting? What's your favorite apple recipe?