roasted tomato sauce; more herbs came in for drying, and we picked our first harvest of apples.
We have been having a difficult time with our little apple orchard, Five of our trees died, for various reasons, and out of the two remaining healthy trees, only one produced apples. It was, however, our very first harvest, and, although the apples didn't have the flavor we hoped they would have, we were thrilled to actually pick apples from our own tree. I'm not sure why the apples lack in flavor. If they are lacking in nutrients, if the soil was too dry, if it was an issue related to pollination, we are just not sure, but Hubby and I will research more to ensure tasty fruit in years to come. I decided the best thing to do with the lack luster apples was to make apple butter. Having never made it before, I turned to my trusty, old faithful book on canning, the Ball Blue Book, and found a recipe for Caramel Spiced Apple Butter (I found the recipe online here if you'd like to try it). Sunday morning's breakfast of eggs and sausage tasted so much better with the addition of apple-butter-slathered toast, and five quarts of this tasty preserve went into the pantry for later use. What a gratifying feeling it is, to not only grow and preserve one's own food, but to make use of the bounties of nature, even apples that are less than perfect.