Washington state is known as "the apple capital of the world." Or it least it used to be. When I moved to Washington five and a half years ago I remember watching the local news, in absolute dismay as the governor announced a trade agreement with New Zealand that would include--apples. great! Not quite great--we'd be shipping apples in our fall and importing them in their fall. Wait, Washington state import apples? Bizarre. Sure, some apples really are better eaten soon after picking. But lots of apples are "designed" to hold over the winter, or at least a long portion of the winter.
I grew up on the East Coast thinking Washington apples were the best, aside from those I picked myself at some U-pick apple orchard nearby. I really had been convinced by the advertising the Washington State Apple Commission had done. And now I live in Washington and I won't eat an apple that isn't from Washington. Heck, I try not to eat any that aren't from eastern Washington.
Which brings me to my current dilemma. I may have been a little overzealous in my apple purchase yesterday. Yesterday was the last market day for the outdoor downtown Spokane Farmers Market. I bought a lot of stuff that can be held over. Although I didn't get enough onions, since most from my preferred farmer (yes, I have a preferred farmer) had been already claimed. I'll have to remember that next year. I have had a busy fall and expect November to be just as busy, so I knew I wasn't going to get up to Green Bluff to pick my own apples this year.
So I bought a box. A box, what can be the problem with that, you ask? Well, I bought a box of organic Braeburn seconds (that means they have some dings, are a wide variety of sizes and shapes, they just aren't the super pretty apples they want in the grocery store, but they are perfectly fine to eat). I went up to this organic orchard's stand and said to the guy there "I want some apples that a good for drying." That's how I put up for winter the apples I picked last year so it seemed like a reasonable question to me. He said, "for drying?" and looked down at his feet. I said, "Yea, something a little firm, a little tart." What I didn't know then was that he wasn't wondering what apples were good for drying he was wondering what GIGANTIC box of apples, still in the back of his truck, had apples for drying rather than the display boxes at the stand proper where people pick like six apples! He said he had seconds of Braeburns and Golden Delicious. I actually think Delicisios--red or golden- are anything but. He said the box was $30. For a box of organic apples, that seemed like a good deal to me.
It was a very good deal -- 40 pounds of apples. He had to carry the box to my car. What have I gotten myself into? He assured me that Braeburns keep well, too. He said, if kept cool, they can last for months. At least I don't have to dry them all this week. But that food dehydrator is going to get a workout. I dried apples all day yesterday, and I will all day today, too. During the week it is a little harder since apples dry in four to five hours and by the time I get home from work, I might not have time to process and dry them before I go to bed. It will be an interesting few weeks, I think.
So I am also trying to do other things with apples. This morning I am making apple popovers. Yesterday I just happened to be flipping through the television channels and say someone cooking with apples. I stopped flipping--I have 40 pounds of apples to get through. It was a show I never watch, with a really annoying host it turns out, who is like a cross between Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart--oy. But, she and her guest were making apple popovers. I have never made popovers, but have always wanted to try. I remember the first time I ever had one, at the fanciest restaurant in my hometown (which sadly, has closed). The light and airy bread gets its loft from eggs and heat--no other leavening and are called "popovers" because they are served upside-down. They are literally, popped over.
I am not using a popover pan. There are special pans made just for baking popovers. I am using a muffin tin, which hopefully is an acceptable substitute. The special pans are made of something that heats up really well and each opening is as narrow as a regular muffin tin's opening but deeper, for a more impressive shape, I guess. If these popovers turn out well, I am asking for a popover pan for Christmas.
So, now I am waiting on popovers, thinking about other things to do with apples, and thinking about the work I have left to do today, this Halloween, for school and my career. No dressing up for anything for me, except the school teacher with her apple.
What I Want
2 years ago