It has been quite a month here in the Stepford house.
With the holidays approaching- Halloween, Little Darling’s birthday, Christmas, New Years- I have been trying to stay on top of all the extras I know will be coming so I won’t feel so overwhelmed closer to the actual dates.
I managed to get our costumes figured out months ago- Little Darling will be Minnie Mouse, a costume handed down to us from a friend. I will be a scarecrow because I already own plaid, cowboy boots, and can easily draw a scarecrow face on myself. Wonderful Husband was supposed to be away for Halloween but now he may be home, so he has been put in charge of his own costume.. something tells me he will be appearing as one of the following: a dad, a husband, a bored person. Possibly a cowboy if I can make him put his cowboy boots on and wear a hat. He isn’t what we will call “holiday friendly”, also known as: The Grinch of every season.
I have been working on all of our Christmas gifts, all of which are homemade presents put into gift baskets. While some people are like *scoff* a homemade gift is a cop out because they didn’t have to actually think about it, they just made the same thing for everybody. No- Listen- it is the thought that counts. And you can be DAMN sure that I thought of every single persons name that is getting gifts from me while I was cursing over my grape jelly that didn’t set up and has to be completely redone. Along with jelly, there was a candle making night, several bread days, a popcorn night still to come, and countless hours in the kitchen making sure everything is pretty enough to go out and tastes good enough to be attached to my name. It is a labor of love and I really truly enjoy dropping off these baskets at Christmas time. It may not be expensive or come from a department store, but its the best of me and I give it gladly.
Everything has been going great! I am excited to have Christmas almost all taken care of so I can focus on family and food for the holiday, and with Wonderful Husband away it wasn’t much of a chore to spend extra time in the kitchen after Little Darling went to bed.
Then came the apples.
Last weekend my Mother in Law was planning to come down so we could go find her a Halloween costume, My FIL asked if I wanted her to bring down some apples. I say sure. Why? Because we don’t say no to free food in the Stepford house. My MIL showed up with a milk crate full of apples and a dehydrator.
I was a slightly nervous, but I had already committed. Since I wasn’t sure what else to do with apples besides eat them fresh, I decided to try out the apple schnitz my SIL has been raving about since the day I met her. Anytime anyone mentions apples she is all over it- gonna make apple schnitz? Is there gonna be schnitz? Send me some if you make some!- being that I am not from their part of the state, I had no idea what schnitz was.
Hint: its dried apples
Of course, I looked on pinterest to find a good recipe.
I found this one.
I have an apple peeler, also a gift from the in-laws, so it was short work peeling my apple and getting it ready for my mandolin. Then it was total hell slicing that sucker on the mandolin. the core and seeds were mangling my little friend. The blade is now bent and I am disheartened. I wasn’t real sure what to do with the apples after that so I just put them in the dehydrator and left them for a few hours.
Ta da! Pretty apples. Not really worth the effort though so I decided in the future I would peel them, slice them with my handy apple slicer, and then just put the slices in the dehydrator. Not as pretty, but way easier on everyone involved. Any by everyone, I mean me.
Everything went pretty well with my first round of unpretty apples. Sliced and diced. Sprinkled with some lime juice and some cinnamon. 10 hours later and I had some really nice unpretty apples. I figured since I had a butt load of apples I would make a bunch of these apple chips and stick them in my gift baskets for christmas. A win-win! Then I made the mistake of tasting one. I mean, its an apple chip, how good could it be? Let me tell you how good it can be. There are almost none left. Almost every apple chip that has come out of the dehydrator has gone into my mouth. I am unstoppable.
I texted my in-laws today asking if there is Appleholics anonymous because if so, I need it.
Tonight I started my fourth batch of apples.
I swear, these ones will get bagged and put away for Christmas. They are just so delicious and festive. Not to mention free.
I texted my FIL and asked if I could have more apples because I have eaten all the apple schnitz I have made. FIL replied that you are supposed to eat the fresh apples now and save the dried ones for the long cold winter. Well- Note to everyone out there- never put me in charge of food storage for winter, we will all be dead by November.
While it is tedious work, it really isn’t that bad. The peeler is exceptionally fun to use, and it doesn’t take incredibly long to load up the dehydrator. And look at how self sufficient we are being!
So, go buy yourself a dehydrator and find an apple tree. I would offer to do it for you, but I am not to be trusted when it comes to the apple schnitz. You probably won’t be either once you try them.