It used to be that anyone who had a little garden space in the backyard also had an apple tree. We had three in our back yard when we bought this house in the 1980s and have lost two due to age and disease (we replanted one). We now have two trees but this wasn't a very good year for our apples.
But other people have had good apple crops. I visited a friend on Friday and she has a couple of trees in the back. She gave me a plastic grocery store bag and I filled it up. I'm a gleaner kind of person--I don't at all mind asking people if they're going to use those apples littering their lawns.
And you know what? Lots of people are more than happy to have you get those pesky apples off their nice lawn. I don't care how bumpy and weird they are--I'm going to peel and cut them up. They don't have to be market-perfect produce.
Right this moment--if you were watching me type up this blog post you'd know this--my house smells of apple butter. It's been cooking for a couple of days. Slowly. Stirred infrequently. Some cinnamon and sugar added at intervals, along with a splash of water.
Tonight it is almost dark enough. I'll stir it around for an hour or so in the morning and then can it up.
But I haven't gotten enough apples for cider. So I'll need to ramble over to the farmers' market and pick up several gallons of the yummy stuff, so I can make it even yummier.