We visited mom for the first time in two weeks. It went much better after Mrs ERJ figured out that the batteries in Mom's hearing aid died.
I scored 120 pounds of apples from a neighbor who gave me permission to pick up windfalls. He has a nearly perfect lawn and the fruit is a nuisance to him. It was the first time I got a close look at the fruit from his trees. The two trees that are closest to the road are Red Delicious. Then an Empire. The tree closest to his garage is a McIntosh.
Empire is a cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh and it has most of the best characteristics of both parents. It has the disease resistance of RD and the aromatics of McIntosh especially when very ripe. It is not as firm as a RD but it is fully as hardy as a McIntosh.
I cannot speak to Empire's ability to produce quality fruit in hot climates, a weakness of McIntosh.
Taste is a very subjective thing but I consider Empire to be a very good apple for applesauce. A grower could do far worse than to plant a tree or two of Empire.
I want to go back and see if I can score another 80 pounds of Empire in the morning. We are expecting wind gusts to 25 mph tonight and there should be many more on the ground.
Tomorrow will also involve counting mason jars and inventorying sugar and other necessaries.
God willing, we will launch a couple loads (14 quarts) of applesauce to shake-out the system. At two-pounds to the quart, a 40 pound box of apples is good for about 20 quarts of applesauce. There is very little waste.
ERJ Exclusive Footage from Del Rio, Texas