Sunday, September 15, 2019

Fall Is Apple Pie Season, and More

I baked our first apple pie of the season early this morning.  No, not with apples from our trees (not ready yet) but rather from some brought to us by a friend in southern Minnesota.

Ours need a little more time to mature, and it would be nice if they would size up a bit more, too.  I'm happy to see them looking this good considering the rough, cold, slow start they got this spring.  None of the blossoms froze, but it sure did take a long time for the apples to start forming.

The above shot was taken through our keep-the-birds-from-pecking-them cage we built.  Don't they look perfect?  Proves you can have unblemished, organically grown apples (IF they mature properly!) without poisonous sprays . . . and you go to great lengths to protect them from spoilage brought on by birds!

This is the harvest from one-half a 4 x 8' bed of slicing cucumbers.  I even cut the plants down to four this year; next year, it's two plants.  Applarently, slicing cukes aren't that popular with most folks as I can hardly give them away.  

Papa Pea and I are doing our best to use them by enjoying them in one form or another each and every day.  Seriously.  I expect vines to be growing out of our ears soon.

Here's a great, simple recipe for a yummy, crunchy cucumber salad.  Measurements of ingredients are approximate depending on your own taste.  Feel free to adjust.

Creamy Cucumbers

1 medium sized slicing cucumber
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
Sprinkle black pepper
Some red onion (for color and zip)
sliced and separated into rings
A small amount of mayo

Slice your cucumber, add rest of ingredients
and mix gently.

The mayo required is small, maybe half a tablespoon, 
because the cukes have a lot of water in them.

Sometimes I add halved cherry tomatoes.

I hope all is going well for you at the beginning of this fall season wherever you're located.  Supposedly our color season will last longer than usual because we've had so much moisture lately.  The good from the not so good!


The Wykeham Observer said...

Thanks for the recipe. I love cukes, but will have to sponge some off someone this year. I planted the Armenian variety, but maybe too late. They had a lot of flowers, but just didn't grow or thrive. I think I should start them in the house early next year. Normally haven't had to do that. Beautiful apples! Do you make apple butter? Phil

Goatldi said...

Love apple butter. Shall I send you my address just in case?
Thanks Phil for the suggestion 😊

Kristina said...

Thanks for the recipe. Here's hoping we get to plant cucumbers next year. Your pie looks wonderful. I still have pie crust crumbles to make (long to-do list this fall).

Mama Pea said...

Phil - Watch for a pallet to arrive loaded with cucumbers! ;o] Can't believe how many we have this year . . . but since they're a rather "tender" crop, I do grow them under a cold frame so the quantity is most always good.

Neither Papa Pea nor I care for apple butter, but I make a lot of applesauce with our apples. Daughter and I made a batch back in February of this year when some of our apples in the root cellar were getting soft. But that's all gone now so we're eager for ones from this year's crop.

Goatldi - I wonder if the apple butter I've had has always been too, too sweet for me and that's why I don't like it? Hmmmm, may have to give it another go.

Kristina - I can't imagine how you feel about your gardening troubles this year as it depresses me whenever I think about your situation. :o( You've had more than your share of weather problems the last couple/few years. Here's hoping next year will turn the tide for you!

Cockeyed Jo said...

GMTA! My apple post will be Sunday. I find a whole, double crusted apple pie is just too much pie to eat for only 2 people. I usually do hand pies or medium tart sized pie (6")with a crumb topping. That way we can always have fresh pie.

If I'm making hand pies, I'll cook enough for one meal's dessert and freeze the rest.

wisps of words said...

Beautiful pie!

Beautiful ripening apples!

It will be well worth the effort, of keeping them safe, from the birds. :-)

We don't care for cucumbers. Maybe we aren't the only ones, if you can't give them away. Cut down next year. Don't want 'em growing out your ears!

Oh that sounds wonderful! That we might have a longer lasting colorful foliage season, because of the weather. Here, it is beginning. It is! Always want it to last. Dread wind/rain, which take leaves down "like anything". -sigh-


Mama Pea said...

J.L. Murphey - Well, not that we two couldn't easily eat a whole, double crusted apple pie . . . but we are both trying to look closely at the sugar we ingest lately and, you're right, the rest (over half) of this pie is going into the freezer. Found a while ago that individual pieces of blueberry pie (crumb topping rather than double crusted) freeze beautifully so today I'm cutting up the rest of this apple pie and giving it the freezer test. Thanks for the idea of making hand pies (like turnovers?) instead of a whole pie. I'm gonna try that.

Lynne said...

Your pie looks so good! You apple orchid looks wonderful. Great looking apples on the tree. Covering them was a very wise idea. Your cukes look good and healthy. We use a lot of cucumbers in salad and cucumber sandwiches. You'll be busy when your apples are ready to go!! xo

SmartAlex said...

I made my first apple pie yesterday too. I love the style of your pie vents. I think I'll copy!

Mama Pea said...

wisps of words - I know some people say cucumbers give them "the burps!"

Autumn is so much my favorite time of year. I really wish it would last until Thanksgiving was over. Usually, up here so far north, the ground is barren and everything is black and gray at that time of year.

Lynne - The friends who brought us the apples apologized saying they might be a little bit under ripe. I didn't add any more sugar than usual to my pie and although the apples had a "bite" to them, they were not really objectionable at all.

Oh, gosh, I haven't had a cucumber sandwich in forever. Good suggestion!

SmartAlex - 'Tis definitely apple pie time! You're welcome to copy my pie vents. Sometimes I use my teeny-tiny maple leaf cookie cutter to make three small leaves in the top crust. Papa Pea would prefer a crumble crust rather than the dough crust, but I prefer the double crust pie. And since I was the pie maker/baker . . . ;o]

Anonymous said...

How about making some delicious cucumber relish?

Goatldi said...

Mama Pea

There are most certainly different varieties of apple butter. I got my taste for it from my Mama who grew up in the Bloomington area of Illinois in a family of 13 including her Mama and Papa.

I am imagining that most of theirs was homemade. Although my Mama left her farm girl roots for the promise of a better life with a handsome young soldier to California . So I never tasted Grandmas apple butter. However I have spent most of my adult life with my farm girl genetics in full throttle search of that which she had in our cupboard when I was growing up. Wish I could remember what it was but the upside is I have tasted some fabulous and some not so fabulous over the years.

Katie C. said...

I love cukes but my guy can't eat them. They give him terrible heart burn. I have to use sliced zucchini in his salad. Anyway, I like to cut cuke slices or chunks and mix them with cut up tomatoes, red onion, garlic and a balsamic vinaigrette. When I'm lazy, I use Paul's Reduced Fat Balsamic vinaigrette.

This year was my last and final attempt to grow pickling cukes. Three strikes and you're out! Can you make bread and butter pickles from the slicing cukes? They look lovely!

How did your tomatoes do? Mine have been taking forever to ripen. Then I have to fight with the squirrels and chipmunks for the ripe ones. How do they know?! It's only been in the last few days that I'm getting some red ones. Since they haven't been cooperating, I've been freezing them in gallon bags to can later. This way I don't have to skin them, They just come right off after thawing. I think I have 4 gallons frozen at this point. I usually will also get some canning seconds at the farmers market but everyone is beating me to them. The last two weekends, they were sold out by the time I got there. I didn't know that the farmers would set up early and sell early but now I know. Guess where I'm going at first light on Saturday?

I did not know that you could freeze pie slices either but if and when I make my next apple pie, none of it will make it into the freezer. My guy has a thing for apple pie. He'd rather have that most times instead of cake for his birthday unless he gets a Carvel ice cream cake ;-)