Ten Apples Up on Top was one of my girls' favorite Dr. Seuss books, and one of the few that he published under his other Nom de Plume.
I thought of that book a lot today, as we went to the PYO apple orchard (I had to go to the farm anyway, to return the crates in which I brought home all of the peaches).
We picked a bushel - which is about 40 lbs, and when we got home, we canned - Deus Ex Machina and I together. It was a rare and wonderful day (usually I'm canning by myself).
In the end, we (mostly Deus Ex Machina) canned 15 quart jars of applesauce.
I made two apple pies, and Precious helped me make a turnover.
We still have a few smaller apples for eating ... or perhaps for adding to the wild apples we will be harvesting for hard cider. While we were out, we also stopped at the brewing supply shop and picked up a wine yeast, and expect to get a batch of hard cider in the fermenting bucket - hopefully this week.
There is still a lot of harvesting to do, but apples are the last crop for us here. When we start picking apples, we know it's fall - it's truly fall, like when we start making maple syrup, it's really spring.
It's fall, and it's already chilly enough, especially at night, for jackets and wool socks. Winter is fast approaching, and like the old childhood hide-n-seek chant, I hear her calling, Ready or not, here I come!
And speaking of "harvesting", my friend Lisa Marie, came over a couple of weeks ago.
Lisa Marie is a former, long-time vegetarian. Some of the same concerns about food security, food safety and nutrition that motivated my own transition to a local diet, prompted her to consider her own diet. In an attempt to gain control over her food, she has reevaluated her non-meat eating stance. She talks a lot about the kinds of things her family has and is doing on her podcast "Sweet Peas", which include sourcing her food locally and attempting to garden - something she never, ever, thought she'd be doing.
In addition, since she decided that she was, indeed, going to eat meat, she figured she should know more than just animals are where meat comes from. She wanted to learn more about the process of how the animal becomes the meat. She asked us to help.
So, a couple of weeks ago, she came to our house to learn how to harvest rabbits. She recorded the experience on her podcast.
I think she did a really amazing job - both on the podcast, and on the learning of what, has become for most of us in modern America, a rather alien skill. As a society, we've moved so far away from our food that most of us don't even have any idea what it is we're putting into our bodies.
After that day at my house, Lisa Marie knows one thing - it's not easy being so close to one's food, but the fact is if we're going to eat, something has to die (as Deus Ex Machina says, everything eats, and everything gets eaten), and to not acknowledge that fact is either grossly naive or incredibly cowardly.
My brave, brave friend, Lisa Marie, is neither, and when she decides to cook the rabbit she took home, I'm sure she'll think much differently about the meal.