Look Who Came to Dinner


I’m hard and heavy preparing for CITR Retreat 2012 and the Party on the Farm, but I took the day off today from pretty much everything (am I allowed to do that? ha) to process a box of apples from the farmers market. I made 16 pints of Whiskey-Raisin Apple Butter.

I haven’t worked up a box of apples in a while. Apple season is just coming on. I got the box for $15. After processing the apples, surprisingly, I had a huge urge to go get another box, but I restrained myself. I really have too much to do to play with apples. (Sigh!) I’m in the middle of a perfect storm. The retreat and party are in less than two weeks, and my book is due in a month. I’LL BE FINE. Sort of.

I was tossing apple peels and cores all day to the animals. I could have been dehydrating them for potpourri or steam juicing them down to juice for jelly, but my brain just didn’t want to go there. There’s not a single animal on the farm who doesn’t appreciate a sideswipe from a box of apples, so I settled for playing apple Santa.

Some peels and cores went right out the studio door to the chickens. An unexpected guest crawled up.

Mr. Turtle! Or Miss Turtle. I really don’t know. We weren’t properly introduced. I think he/she wanted me to get some more apples, too.

I think I must have an obsessive personality. (What?! Is this news?!) Give me one or two apples, I’m fine. Give me a box, I want 10 boxes.

Somebody stop me. Apple season has just begun–and I’m too busy for apples!


  1. denny144 says:

    Turn the turtle over. If the bottom shell is flat, it’s a girl. If it’s concave, it’s a boy. I’ve never seen turtles go after the apples from my trees that end up on the ground, but I’ve seen them take chunks out of low-hanging tomatoes.

  2. yvonnem says:

    Suzanne, I wouldn’t really call that a day off…LOL! I lOVE apples. I think it’s about the only thing I eat on a regular basis that is good for me. Gala’s are my very, very favorite.

  3. brookdale says:

    It looks like a painted turtle. He/she must have come up from one of your creeks. Turtles are good to have around, they eat bugs so I’ve heard. And evidently, apple scraps too!

  4. whaledancer says:

    Canning 16 pints of apple butter isn’t exactly my idea of taking the day off from everything, but given what you’ve been doing lately, I can see where it might seem like that.

    Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of apples available to play with AFTER the party & retreat. But I don’t blame you for jumping the season, with a deal like that. And what a luscious smell apple butter has.

  5. CATRAY44 says:

    I sure hope the recipe for the whiskey apple butter is on Farm Bell! (and yes you are allowed and probably should take many days off to be stress free and ready!)

  6. Cheryl LeMay says:

    It’s preserving fervor! I have it too – only mine’s with grapes. I’m up to my eyeballs in grapes! And I have more to pick! The joy of the harvest season has begun.

  7. Leaves of the fall says:

    If that shell was pretty high, which it kind of looks that way in the picture, it could be a box turtle…. they do eat fruits and berries that fall to the ground… along with worms/grubs, etc.

  8. mds9 says:

    It is a “Eastern Box Turtle”. If it had red eyes it is a boy. If it had brown eyes it is a girl. Box turtles are my favorite.

  9. Stick Horse Cowgirls says:

    Whiskey raisin apple butter sounds divine–bet rum would be good too! Crockpot applesauce is easy and a good way to use up apples!
    I love the coming of Autumn with apples and pumpkins!

  10. princessvanessa says:

    I’m thinking the turtle has a “summer retreat” under the studio deck/porch. It would be cool and dark under there and out of the way of all the busy hoofs, feet and paws that are all around. I bet the smell of fresh apple (peels) was too much to resist a venture out.

  11. Turtle Mom says:

    I love box turtles! How awesome that you have one on your farm. I hope the dogs don’t get a hold of it and chew on it, as they can be dangerous to boxies. Thank you for sharing your new friend! Happy Labor Day!

  12. holstein woman says:

    When I lived in California, I had one that my daughter played with most of the time. I loved her.
    I’m avoiding fruit since I have so much milk and cream to take care of (and only 1 cow in milk). I have 24 pounds of butter in the freezer and so much cheese in the cave I hardly know what to do with the milk. I need PIGS to drink it for me.
    Any kind of canning sounds lovely, I only wish I had time for it, but I am SO glad I overdid it last year.

  13. easygoinglady says:

    Playing apple Santa sounds like a fun thing. Sharing with all those around you. Takes so little to make them happy.

    Years ago, I had a Labrador Retriever that had a litter of pups, and a few of them died. There was box turtle in our yard that the dog found and she carried back to where the puppies were and she would not let it leave. As soon as it would start to go out of the area, she would pick it up and carry it back with the pups.
    Finally I had to relocate the turtle out of her reach.

  14. Barbee says:

    Okay, Suzanne! Take a long, deep, deep breath. Hold it and count to 25, then let it out s-l-o-w-l-y. There, there, now you will be alright. It’s amazing what all you find there on that farm. A turtle ate my small prickly-pear cactus.

  15. joykenn says:

    I have apple-envy big time! I love apples but the orchards in our area were pretty hard hit this year–really early warm weather followed by frost followed by hot summer drought. The pick-your-own orchards with enough apples to pick were open ONE WEEKEND but most were closed. Some have even imported apples from other states to sell at their orchard shops. Sigh! None to pick, none to buy cheaply in bulk for canning, freezing, pie making. Ah, well, maybe next year.

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