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Posts Tagged ‘apple picking’

Poor girl is more apple than tree!

Don’t ask how I know she’s a girl, I just know (okay, so I spied her fishnets.)

We’re buried here, and if you’ve got a bushel of your own to dispatch, you could make some of my all-natural, sugar-free pink applesauce.  The sauce can also be canned as it is, no recipe edits necessary.

So applesauce and pie filling, breads, cakes, muffins, and fresh eating, shrunken heads, squirrel weapons…

Hmm, isn’t something missing from this homestead?  Haven’t I left something out?

OH THAT’S RIGHT IT’S FRIGGIN’ HARD CIDER TIME, MISFITS!  PARTY TIME! EXCELLENT!

Recipe to be posted here, so keep your pretty eyes peeled for it.  We’re making a 5-gallon keg this year, and have been hunting for unsprayed crab apples to throw into the mix.  They add a nice hit of tannins to the cider and give the finished moonshine a sour green apple taste.

What’s getting you in the mood for hot cider, Halloween, chilly breezes, zombie movies, and long talks about Mastodon in front of a roaring fire?  Not quite there yet?  Could it be you need one of my Homemade Pumpkin Lattes to ease you in?  And a cider donut?  And a corn dog rolled in a bowl of candy corn?*

*Bad Mama Genny assumes no risk for any morbid obesity that may result from your taking her advice.  Suggestions are probably sicker and more twisted than they appear on this blog.

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Mmm, fall.  Delicious, delicious fall.  Succulent, tasty, juicy fall.

Aaaaand we’re already creepy.  I would say that’s a new record for this blog, but maybe not.  I do creepy things all the time and then “forget” them later.  It’s called “creepout amnesia.”  Or, as the rest of you might call it, “a reasonable sense of shame.”

Anyhow.

It’s officially fall, seeing as how I can no longer lay on the beach with those little wine juice boxes and a volleyball to give the impression that I’m sporty.  Oh, it’s such a lark when someone walks up and asks if I’d like to play volleyball!

“AHAHA, ahaha, AHAHAHAHA, oh, PLAY volleyball, stop, STOP, really, you’re too much!…::sip::sip::”

Anyhow.

So it’s no longer lay-on-the-beach-in-a-bikini-and-get-drunk-next-to-a-for-decoration-only-volleyball weather.  Man, what a sad, sad sentence.  But no one get too down about it.  After all, it’s just about lay-in-the-back-of-an-SUV-in-jeans-and-The-Boy’s-jersey-next-to-a-for-decoration-only-football weather.  Yes.  To everything, there is a season.  It’s the circle of life.  A wheel of fortune, if you will.  Turn, turn, turn.

Anyhow.

So it’s getting chilly, and I’ve been gallivanting around doing all manner of fall-like things.  Things like…

Using the last of the red tomatoes from the garden…

Preparing this delightful native dish that I’ve just learned about: soup…

Going apple picking…

Ooh…

Think we have enough apples for two people, The Boy?

You do?  Oh, that’s nice.  I think we need lots more.

Whaddya mean, you’re cutting me off?

Whaddya mean, you’re walking to the car?

Whaddya mean, you’re starting the car?

Whaddya mean, VROOM?

Oh.  I think I’m starting to understand whatcha mean.

…and of course, as the lead photo would suggest, we’ve been gallivanting (yes, MORE gallivanting) through pumpkin fields.  But only to look at them.  In my world, field pumpkins, like volleyballs and footballs and modesty, are for decoration only.  The flesh is scarce, stringy, watery, and not the least bit sweet.  Now those cute lil’ two-pound pie pumpkins?  THOSE are pumpkins.  Adorable AND delicious.

So if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I spent yesterday roasting all kinds of squash and squash seeds, and I’d be lyin’ if I didn’t admit to a bit of a pumpkin obsession these days.  Yesterday, I saved 79 pumpkin recipes on my desktop.  True story.  True story that I wish were even a little bit false.  78 would’ve sounded much better.  Thank goodness it wasn’t 80.  I mean, 79 is a lot, but 80 is just sick.

Ooh!  Just found a recipe for pumpkin french toast!  ::click::

<hangs head>

And today, as you’d know if you followed me on Twitter (hint hint FUCKING hint), is The Boy’s birthday.  That’s right, everybody’s favorite accidental sorta-celebrity was born ::mumble mumble:: years ago today.  To celebrate, I decided to start his morning off right (the poor dude had to work!) with a pumpkin latte.  YUM.

Now let me just be clear: The Boy does not NEED a pumpkin latte to feel good in the morning.  How could he ever have a bad morning when he opens his eyes to the sight of me rolling over, my hair in the most conspicuous white girl afro you ever did see, my nightie twisted around me like a straightjacket, the pillows on the floor, and my eyes half open?  How could he NOT have a great morning when my first words to him are usually something akin to “What the…f*&#…it’s not morning, right?  THE BOY, tell me it’s not morning, tell me it’s not morning, IFYOUVALUEYOURLIFETELLMEIT’SNOTMORNING, oh God, it’s morning.”  Also, a man needs to feel wanted and needed, right?  And when I wrap my arms around his ankles as he’s trying to scale the stairs to the door and beg him not to leave me to work all by myself, I’m sure what he’s thinking is, “God, it’s so nice to feel needed.”

BUT.

Just in case your mornings need perking up, UNLIKE THE BOY’S, you might want to try a pumpkin latte.  It’s a heck of a lot nicer than the one from the coffee shops.  And it’s made with a healthy dose of neurosis.  I mean, love.  Love.

Pumpkin Latte
*makes one*

Go Get:

1 shot of espresso (alternatively, probably about a 1/2 cup of really strong coffee)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon raw sugar (I’m thinking maple syrup would be a delightful substitute)
1 cup milk (this works with soy milk, nut milk, whatever turns you on; I’m a lactard, almond milk it is)
3 hearty dashes cinnamon (can I recommend–again–the Saigon Cinnamon from The Spice House?)
1 pinch ginger
2 whole cloves
1 pinch nutmeg
2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree (you could use canned, but…you know)
whipped cream, if you’re feelin’ naughty

Go Do:

Start brewing your espresso or coffee.  Meanwhile, toss all other ingredients except whipped cream into a saucepan and blend.  Cook over low heat until the milk is just steaming (don’t boil it.  Ew.).  Now if you want your latte super smooth, remove the cloves with a spoon and put everything into the blender, set it to “milkshake” or its equivalent, and let that sucker blend ’til things are lookin’ frothy.  If you’re not picky and your pumpkin puree was smooth, just take out the cloves.  Now put your espresso into a mug, and pour the milk mixture over it.  Top with whipped cream if you’re using it.  Aw, what the hell, toss on another dash of cinnamon.  Let’s go whole hog.  Now doesn’t that sound like a nice way to start the day?  I’m thinking decaf and a walk after dark on a chilly, crisp day would suit me just fine, how ’bout you?

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Autumn is my favorite season, misfits…HANDS DOWN.

What does that mean, anyway, “hands down”?  Wouldn’t “hands up” imply more excitement, a la your Bad Mama Genny raises her hands in the air and waves them around in the manner of having nary a care?  But I digress.

Anyhoo, this crisp, clean fall air always makes me want to do one thing: sign a fetus over to Satan a la Rosemary’s Baby.

Oh, wait, that’s not right.

This crisp, clean fall air always makes me want to do one thing: apple picking. Probably some hangup from childhood, when I was raised by wolves and used to sleep in an apple tree so they wouldn’t accidentally tear me to pieces while dreaming about chasing bunnies.

Am I kidding or am I not, the world may never know.

But whatever my reason, there’s one thing that’s crystal clear to everybody: I will insist on picking in ridiculous quantities and any attempt to moderate my behavior will cause me to have a massive, dramatic, and scene-making seizure and then die in the naysayer’s arms.

Or maybe what happens is slightly less severe than that, but never you mind your pretty little heads about such details.

So The Boy and I spent a clear, luscious Sunday at the orchard climbing, lugging, juggling, falling over, causing ruckuses, and carefully considering how to maximize our bushel.  After loading our goods into the trunk (and just barely passing bag overfill inspection by some extremely scrupulous farmers who gave my fishnets a skeptical eye), we plotsed ourselves down onto a bench in a sunny spot of the orchard.  The two of us shared a cool pint of homemade cider and a few hot, fluffy apple cider doughnuts, fresh from the fryer.  These babies were fall personified.  If donuts were persons.  Fine, they were fall donuttified.

Mmm, donuttifying things.

Unexpected bonus: never had we inspired such fear and suspicion in our fellow New Yorkers as when they saw us approaching with our bushel of shiny new produce.

“Hark, it is the pale ones,” they said to themselves.

“But what of the crimson orbs the tall one carries?”

Or at least, that’s what I imagine they said–pedestrians passing by readily offered their comments, but they were rarely in English.  Of course, The Boy disagrees–he feels nothing but shame at what he assumes those landscapers were saying about his apples between enthusiastic whistles.

And so, having had the full reality of just how many apples we’d picked graciously driven home by our neighbors, I set to work making room in the refrigerator and brainstorming some applications.  Applesauce it was–but not the pale, sugary mess in a jar you might be used to seeing on store shelves. These apples didn’t need any sweetener at all.  They were sweet enough already.  They were well-behaved and chaste and good and OH JUST EVERYTHING THAT YOU AND I ARE NOT.

In fact, if you use a sweet, red, thin-skinned apple variety that’s been grown without sprays, you won’t even need to peel them.  This’ll get ya’ a gorgeous pink applesauce that just screams “misfit.”   You barely need a recipe for this, dudes and dudettes, and it’s perfect for freezing in batches, serving with crisp potato latkes and a brisket, using in recipes, or just enjoying as is.

So what did we do with the rest of the apples? A few are still taking up valuable refrigerator real estate, but some went toward a batch of Apple-Cherry Oatmeal Bars, others we’ve enjoyed as-is, and the rest went to two gallons of from-scratch Hard Apple Cider.

What, you thought I had enough shame not to drag moonshine into this?  HARDLY!

So did our excess of apples teach me a lesson about letting fall fever cloud my judgment? Absolutely–if I could do it all over again, I’d pick twice as many.  Then I wouldn’t be making a trip back to upstate New York tomorrow for another bushel.

What?

Sugar-Free Pink Applesauce
Makes approx. 1/2 cup finished sauce per apple (I used 20 Cortlands and had 5 pints for the freezer)

Go Get:
Da apples, thin-skinned, sweet, red variety, grown without sprays

Go Do:
Wash the apples thoroughly; then quarter and core them.  Put enough water into a large pot (think Dutch Oven size) pot to cover the bottom by 1/2 inch, and add your apples.  Put a medium-high flame under the pot and occasionally stir up from the bottom to redistribute the apples.  Cook until the apples are very soft, about 20 minutes, adding more water to prevent scorching as necessary.  Allow the mixture to cool enough to safely handle, and then run it through the food processor until the skin is only visible as tiny red flecks in the sauce (You can also put it through a food mill, if you’re bitchin’ enough to have a food mill; I’m currently slightly less bitchin’ than that, but still bitchin’ enough to make pink applesauce which is STILL ALL KINDS OF BITCHIN’ SO RESERVE JUDGMENT MMKAY?). Cool the applesauce completely, divide it into containers, and refrigerate or freeze.

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