About a week ago I took this photo of the last of my apples. I usually reckon to have apples to cook with right through to March and sometimes April. I've still got a few of these left.
I have a bit of a passion for apples (amongst other things?!) Here in Devon they grow on trees, orchards full of them, all over the place, just dropping on roads and into grass and mostly rotting away. A lot of people seem to think that you need some special kind of apples to cook with, and that windfalls won't keep, and probably lots of other apple myths and fallacies.
Every autumn I collect as many apples as I can. Ideally I pick them off the trees, because yes, they do store better than damaged apples. But if windfalls are all I can get then that's what I collect. I collect sackfuls. Not like a few carrier bags full, but big potato/animal feed sackfuls, and I lay them out in single layers in as many shallow boxes or trays as I can find, preferably ones that will stack. Now that I have a larder I keep them in there, when I didn't I kept them in an unheated shed, covered them in frosty weather and tried hard to keep the mice and rats away from them! I check over them about once a month, pick out rotten ones and throw them to the birds. I also try to keep apples from different trees separate, so that I learn which ones keep best, and then next year I can use up the non keepers first.
Towards the end of winter I cook and freeze some, but through the summer there no need for apples because there is always rhubarb then all the other wonderful soft fruits from the allotment.
My aunt has just moved house and downsized and cleared out lots of lovely old things, including two demo-johns and these amazing glass airlocks. They were pretty grubby and I spent some time cleaning them out with a wide variety of objects. They are NOT easy things to clean!
Aren't they beautiful enough to make you want to make some wine?
I can just hear the gentle blooping now!.........