This autumn, Michael noticing crabapple trees heavy with fruit along his bike commute, was inspired to make his World Famous Crabapple jelly. It’s quite the lengthy operation.
He started by asking the business owners if it would be okay to pick the crabs. The response was “yes please do because they are falling on the cars”. The following week, on a pleasant Saturday he headed down to pick the fruit. I stopped in to say hello wondering how he planned on carrying two full shopping bags back home on his bike (I took them back in the car). It’s beautiful to be out on a warm fall day, the sun shining in your face, sniffing the smell of fallen leaves, rotting apples, swatting wasps, staring at people staring at you picking apples from a private business’s property.
The bags of apples sat in our storage room for another week, giving Michael time to round up canning jars, and scent our little apartment in a beautiful way that reminds me of my grandparents home when I was a tiny tot.
After another week, Michael cut each of the little apples in half, tossed them in a soup cauldron stems and all, and boiled them. After the boil and cool-down, he strains the juice through cheese cloth overnight:
Because this is a Process, he bottles the juice up in clean 4 litre milk jugs and takes up every available space in the fridge for ANOTHER WEEK.
On a sunny Saturday morning, Michael carefully measures and calculates the amount of sugar required, and boils the juice and sugar mixture. Whilst this takes place the jars are sterilized, and carefully filled. Then the morning is filled with the sound of the lids popping, followed by Michael giving out a hearty cheer after each pop.
At long, long last, we have a table full of jewel toned jelly, perfect for topping fresh bread and butter.