I think I found a parable in my garage last week. Or a fable. (What's the difference??)
My parents have apple trees, and are very generous with their fruit. (Translation: They showed up with three bushels of apples last month, late at night. I think they were hoping I wouldn't be home.)
(Oh, I kid. It was only 8:00. But they didn't call first, which made it feel kind of clandestine. And I was pretty excited to have all those apples :)
I made one bushel into 2 pints of apple butter, but the remaining apples sat for a while. I checked on them periodically- just happy little boxes of apples.
Last week I went down to tackle the last two boxes- I was going to slice, boil, run them through a food mill, then dump them into the crock pot for a few days. (That happens to be my apple butter recipe.) Oh horrors. Mold. Fruit flies. Mushy fruit.
I salvaged what I could, but both boxes were mostly gone. What's the lesson here? One moldy apple will spoil the barrel? Never put off what you could do today? I think they spoiled so quickly because some of the apples had worm holes, and the holey apples developed internal rot much more quickly. I should have sorted them right away. (Mom? Dad? Can I have another chance next year?)
I salvaged about 30 apples, and knowing I didn't have nearly enough to make apple butter I set out looking for another recipe. Last Friday night, you would have found me, my husband, and my wonderful MIL up to our elbows in apples and peelings.
Canned Apple Chunks
Peel, core, and slice apples. (Put apple pieces in a bowl of water treated with lemon juice or citric acid, if you want them to stay white, until ready to boil.)
Boil pieces for 5 minutes, then pack hot apples into hot and sterile quarter jars, leaving half-inch head space. Cover apples with hot water or hot (light) syrup, adjust two-piece caps, and process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.
We ended up with three quarters of apples. I'm really wishing I had tackled that project sooner, but these will be yummy in apple cake this winter!