September 18, 2020

Apple snitz

dried apple rings

My great-grandparents had very little material wealth. They were well into their seventies when I was born so I have no memory or knowledge of what Grandpap did for a living as a younger man if indeed he did anything. My mother and grandmother did not hold him in much esteem, I do know that. 


Grandma was a worker. She had a large garden, raised chickens and rabbits, and she made quilts that were very much in demand. I can't remember how many of the older women in our community would see me out walking the dog and come to the road to chat, and part of that talk was to say they had a quilt Mary made for them. Come Saturday morning, my grandparents would be up early to take Grandma to the City Market where she had a booth. If my mother's help was needed, I had to go along. I confess I still do not like to rise at five in the morning. In the fall, one of the items Grandma sold was apple snitz.

Grandma had an old Heatrola heater in her house. She'd lay a couple of clean feed sacks on the top of the Heatrola and turn it on to its lowest setting.
vintage Heatrola
Then she'd spread apple slices on the feed sacks to dry them. She was rather stingy with them when I asked for one. They were a product for sale, you see. I remember my mother shaming her by buying a bag of them for me at the market. Giving a six-year-old two snits would hardly have affected the bottom line and Mom told her that. Come to think of it, Mom didn't let me spend as much time at Grandma's house after that, and she lived next door. I was soon staying with a neighbor who had kids around my age while Mom was at work. 

These days, food dehydrators have replaced the Heatrola - and that's a good thing. It's a wonder Grandma didn't burn the house down. It's apple harvest time so my thoughts returned to apple snitz and so I made my own. I didn't slice the apples into thins; I cored them and used a mandolin to slice them into rounds. I put them in the dehydrator for forty-eight hours and stored them in a clean Mason jar. They'll last quite a long time stored this way. 

A quick little snack, a taste of childhood, on a chilly autumn evening. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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