Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apple Picking

Nancy in the orchard
I was three years old when this photo was taken in the apple orchard behind the farmhouse. Three rows of apple trees provided apples for canning, baking, and snacking as well as a windbreak for the house. The apple varieties I remember were red crab, sweet crab, yellow crab, Yellow Transparent, and tart, winter apples (Wealthy and Winesap).

Dad, Marilyn, and Nancy
Mom made the best crab apple jelly and chunky applesauce. She baked apple pies, apple cakes, and apple crunch. As the trees grew, it was difficult to pick the apples from the highest branches, and we sometimes resorted to shaking the trees. Windfall apples were also harvested.

The winter apples were often put in the under ground root cellar because they kept well.

Over the years the orchard was neglected, and the apples fed the wildlife.

Here is one of my favorite recipes for using apples. Mom got the recipe from a family friend.

                      Mrs. Maxey's Apple Cake
2 c. white sugar                           1/4 lb. butter
2 eggs                                         1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts  
2 c. flour                                     1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. soda                                   1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 c. chopped apples                      1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar and add the remaining ingredients. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch cake pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean.

Glaze topping: (some people prefer to use half of the glaze topping on the cake)
                1 c. white sugar            2 T. butter
                1 T. vanilla                  2 T. flour
                1 c. water

Mix ingredients and boil for 5 minutes. Pour topping over cake after it has been baked.


  1. Yum! That apple cake recipe sounds great! And I love how the older recipes seemed to have just the staples in crazy ingredient that you never have! I really love that! So, I'm making this tonight! Yay! Thanks a bunch!

  2. Love those pictures! And that apple cake sounds delicious and easy to prepare. Thanks for sharing.

  3. My husband loves a "raw apple" cake. I'll have to try this for him this weekend!

  4. Brings back lots of memories. Been awhile since I have seen this picture.

  5. Great old photos! I enjoyed them! Raw apple cake..sounds good to me..I would forget the frosting and just sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on top:)

  6. What a wonderful time those years must of been!... I have to take a dessert for supper tomorrow night...and I have frozen apples from our tree....I might just try that recipe!! thanks...

    1. In my opinion, frozen apples probably would not work for this recipe, as the cake is already moist. I doubt baking would take the extra moisture out of the frozen apples.

  7. I love photos like that, which give a glimpse into regular life. The apple cake recipe sounds good, too.

  8. Such fun memories. My grandma had a cherry tree and I have grand memories of climbing the tree and picking cherries. Who has the farm now? The cake looks lovely - makes me wish I baked. g

  9. mmmmmm.. WOW your own orchard! how funderful

  10. This brings back lovely memories of when our children would pull apples and pears off the trees and eat them. I would fuss at them for not washing the fruit! They survived!

    Thanks for the recipe!! I will try it--maybe today.

  11. Love the pictures, Nancy! No wonder you know quite a bit about a variety of apples; I didn't realize you had so many types in your orchard. I remember that Stevens had a large orchard, but that's the only one I walked through as a kid. I wonder how many other families in the area planted and took advantage of an apple orchard.

    I can't wait to try out the recipe...Mrs. Maxey was quite a well known baker in the community!

  12. Mmmm, when I can get my hands on some locally grown apples I'm going to give that yummy looking recipe a try! Ah and what I would give to see your photo albums.

  13. What great photos, those must be family treasures.

    We need to plant a apple tree here, but we don't know if it will get quite enough sun.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  14. Gosh that brings back memories. Nothing quite like an apple straight from the tree. We planted an apple tree during the winter. I guess we'll be waiting a year or two for fruit.

    The little house - another memory! Like you we got our indoor bathroom when I was about 5. Thank goodness, the out house was a horrid place!



  15. Wopee for a great sounding apple cake recipe. I'm copying that to my recipe folder on the laptop. And, I'll probably make it too as I am going apple picking on Monday with my buddies. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Love the picture of you as a little girl!
    Rebel Follower


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