The song birds don't have to compete with the humans this year. The apples are abundant and suggest delicious foods like Old Fashioned Apple Pie, Apple Chicken with Caramelized Onions, or simply warm Apple Compote with California Walnuts.
One word of cautionary reminder: when harvesting the apples, if you use a ladder to climb up high enough to fall on your butt, be sure to have someone hold the ladder for you. You don't want to be eating your pie in a leg or neck brace.
Bob's Apple Compote
Gather about as many apples as you see in the picture, enough to make a generous six cups of prepared fruit. Don't be afraid if the apples have a blemish or two. Wash the apples really well, especially if you don't know what chemicals the growers have used on the trees over the summer. Wash them well anyway just to get the insect trails off.
Peel the apples whole and put them in a large pot of cold water with a little organic lemon juice to keep the apples from browning during prep. Take the apples from the pot of water, cut them in half and remove anything that isn't appetizing, such as the core and blemished spots.
Cut up the apples, reserving two cups in large chunks, two cups thinly sliced, and two cups finely chopped. Put all three types of prepped apples into a large sauce pan. Sweeten to taste; we added a 1/4 cup of organic brown sugar and a 1/4 cup turbinado sugar. Then add a tablespoon of organic lemon juice and a tablespoon of filtered water. For spice, add a 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Finally, add two tablespoons butter and a tablespoon instant tapioca.
Gently mix all the ingredients, then heat to bubbling. Reduce heat and stir in 1/4 cut chopped walnuts or pecans; your choice. Cover and simmer -- stirring occasionally -- for 45 minutes or until the larger apple chunks are cooked through and soft. According to the juiciness of the apples, you might need to add tiny bit of water, but do so only if necessary.
Serve warm, by itself or as a topping for vanilla ice cream, or spoon over sweet dumplings, biscuits or cake. This compote is also great as filling for pies and cobblers.