Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Self Preservation



Three weeks ago, a friend called to see if I wanted to go pick apples in Salem. It seems that her dad knows someone with an orchard, and was allowing us to pick a couple of trees clean. Of course, I said, "Yes!!"

We drove over in rainy weather, but once we reached Salem, it quit. We had lunch with her dad, and then headed to the orchard. We came armed with lots of grocery bags and a few boxes, all transported in her dad's Vanagon Westfalia.

We each took some Asian pears, and proceeded to climb ladders at our allotted tree to pick. In the past, I wouldn't have been able to go up and down a ladder like we did - thank goodness for new knees!! In a very short time, we had picked 8 or 9 bags each of apples, and a couple more of pears.

Since there is no WinCo in central Oregon, we stopped there on the way out of Salem (it's right on the way) so I could stock up on my bubble beverage of choice. I've been weaning myself off of diet Pepsi, but I need bubbles, so I've switched to Talking Rain - basically carbonated water, some flavored, one not. I still get caffeine in tea and coffee, but I'm done with the diet stuff...

The weather held on the way home, and we made good time. I unfortunately found that Tang had gotten out and eaten chicken food (see previous blog post). Once she was in the clear, I began doing all apples, all the time. I dehydrated three 1/2 gallon jars worth of apples, and have 15 quarts of pie filling, 12 pints each of regular and cranberry apple sauce. I have a few apples left, which I think will be dried, but I'm kind of done with them for now.


Off and on since I moved here, I've delivered raw milk for the local dairy to Portland and Hood River. I've agreed to do the Hood River run every other week, in exchange for milk. I'll be able to make my own yogurt, fresh mozzarella and have cereal! I did a delivery Monday, and on the way back through the Hood River valley, I stopped and bought 66 lbs. of pears (am I a glutton for punishment, or what!!). I got about half red Bartlett pears, and half Bosc pears.

Today, I processed all the Bartlett pears - 14 pts. of Ginger and Star Anise Pears in light syrup, and I'm processing 4 quarts of Brandied pears, along with 1 quart of the brandy syrup, and 1 1/2 quarts of the ginger spice syrup. 

My back is sore...

I will start on the Bosc pears soon, but since they're a little better at storing (not so fragile as the Bartletts), I can wait until after the Portland Handweaver's Guild Sale Veterans' Day weekend. I have a bunch of dyeing to do in the meantime. Nothing like a deadline...

2 comments:

Ruth Dixon said...

My apples are still sitting on the back porch, nagging me. What a great deal you got. And good for you for giving up the diet soda. I quit cold turkey August 3, 2011. (I can't tell you the exact date I quit drinking alcohol 15 years ago, though-LOL). Quitting diet soda (or any soda) was soooo hard. I was drinkin 6-7 a day sometimes. I do miss the carbonation, so I've switched to club soda. Sometimes I put a simple rhubarb syrup in it for flavor. I tried to give up caffiene at the same time, but after a few months, relapsed. I only drink a cup or two of coffee a day, so I'm not too worried. Anyway, hang in there!

Theresa said...

All those wonderful pears! What a heap (bushel?) of work but I'm so envious of your fruity stash.