Freezing Apples – and what the old folks taught me


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I learned at a young age the value of the wisdom which can only be gleaned by those who have lived a lifetime before us. My parents taught me to listen and they drove the lessons of my grandparents home through repetition and life application. These are things I was fortunate enough to be taught by example and I’ll just bet you have already been taught them, too. Still, it never hurts to have a few of them written out plainly all in one place.

So today, as I bring you an easy method to freeze apples which my mother learned from her step mother, I’m also bringing you a little bit of wisdom directly from the folks who came before us with hopes that you’ll be kind enough to share some of your life’s lessons at the end of this post as well. ~clears her throat and steps up to the black board~

First off, a help with perspective:

Troubles are temporary. So is life.
Decide which one you want to focus on.

This is an extension of “This too, shall pass”, which is a blessing and a curse. Most folks think of it in terms of hard times: hang on, this too shall pass, but it also works for good times and moments of joy.

Holding your newborn babe? This too, shall pass.
Spending an afternoon with your mother? This too shall pass.

Live in the moment, Focus on what is important. Don’t let that time with your mother pass with you living in the hardships instead of the joy. That’s not to say don’t worry about paying your bills but don’t spend all of your time in the presence of your loved ones seeing only your bills instead of their faces before you.

If you can’t say something nice…
This is a big one that most folks learn around preschool, but it seems in our modern era that a great many have either forgotten it or decided to ignore it. In the age of the internet where people get all trumped on a power trip of anonymity, it is even worse. Before we are quick to think ill of another, and most especially before we are quick to speak ill of another, we need to put ourselves in their shoes and realize that they are a person just like us. It never hurts to think of how our words will affect their family either. Remember, the trues test of character is who we are when no one is looking.

Just because someone has money doesn’t mean they’re better than you. Just because someone doesn’t have money, doesn’t mean you’re better than them.

Good people come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Don’t let the friend of your heart pass you by because you can’t see past one of these obstacles.

Wisdom doesn’t come automatically with age.
 This is a very important one to me that I am always striving for. When I was a girl, I thought everyone older than me was automatically wiser than me. That rug gets pulled out from under your feet pretty quick! I’ve found that the folks who seem to have the most wisdom and understanding are those who have valued and sought it throughout their lives, using each situation to try to become a better person or to have a better understanding of others.

More often than not, doing the right thing won’t be easy and no one will even know you did it.
Your reward for being a good person is being a good person. Be glad you can sleep at night and get over it. You may not have a parade thrown in your honor but personal pride counts for something. Hold your head high and know your Mama would be proud of the person you have become. Honor, Integrity, and your good name cannot be bought or sold. They must work for and careful cultivated through a lifetime.

At the end of the day, there is always something to be grateful for.
To me, no one was a better teacher of this than my great grandmother, Lela. Most folks who consider themselves to have hard lives by today’s standards would change their thinking pretty quick were they to live just half a day in Lela’s shoes during her younger years. A sharecropper with four children to feed and take care of and a husband whose primary talent was taking what little money they acquired and spending it for his own entertainment purposes. She and her children worked from sun up til sun down, sometimes going to bed hungry because there simply wasn’t any food. They’d come in from a long days work in the fields and the kids would fall asleep wherever they sat first. Lela would walk around with a bowl of water and an old rag and wash the dirt off their feet.

But you know what? Lela always felt she had a lot to be grateful for. All four of her children were healthy. They had a roof over their heads, and though it was meager, they had food. Lela was wise enough to see these things as blessings rather than focus on their predicament as a curse. As a result of her attitude, we are now on our fifth generation of positive thinkers in this family and every single one of them have been happier and more fulfilled by growing up learning from her teachings of gratitude.

This is where you come in. What life’s lessons have you been taught by your elders that have guided you to be the person you are today? I’d love to hear them and a little about the person who loved you enough to teach them to you. I’m always talking about my grandparents, now it’s your turn!

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Eventually, I get around to the tutorial so here are the apples we’re gonna freeze today.

This method works for any type of apples. Today I am freezing Jonagold and Fuji. If you’re going to be freezing them for a pie later, you might want to cut up a few granny smith and include some in each bag.

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You’ll need about a gallon of water. First though, pour about a cup of that warm into a large bowl. Add about 1/4 of a cup of salt.

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Stir until salt is dissolved.

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Add the remaining water. This water should be cold.

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Now we’re gonna peel our apples and slice them up one at a time.

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Cut them however you prefer.

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I usually do sections.

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Be sure and remove the core.

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There we go!

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As you cut them, place all of the slices in the salt water.

I left the skins on some of mine because I prefer my fried apples to have the skin on.

Push them down in the water a bit and make sure they all get submerged good at some point.

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After they have soaked for a few minutes, drain them in a colander.

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Then place in freezer bags and label.

Laying them out flat like this when you freeze them will keep them from sticking together and allow them to thaw quicker.

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Here is a bag of apples a few days later, frozen and still beautiful thanks to the wisdom from the “old folks”!

You can take these apples directly from frozen and use them fried, in muffins, cakes, or pies!

No, they won’t have a salty taste!:)

Freezing Apples
  • Apples
  • 1 Gallon water
  • ¼ C Salt
  • Freezer Bags
  1. Place one cup warm water in a large bowl. Stir in salt until dissolved. Add remaining water cold. Peel and slice apples (can leave skin on them if desired). Place each slice in salt water as you go along. When done with all apples, stir water a bit to make sure all have been submerged. Drain in a colander. Place immediately in freezer bags, label, and freeze.

Some of my favorite Southern Plate apple recipes:

Live in the North Alabama area and looking for apples? Try Isom’s orchard in Athens, that is where these beauties came from!

“The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”

~George Santayana. To submit your quote, click here.


Please share a life lesson you were taught by your parents, grandparents, or just someone who came before you below. If you like, feel free to just use the space to brag on the good folks who raised you!


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  1. Kristin Welu says

    I truly love getting your newsletter and your chatter about life,you have the kindness gift,and so many yummy recipes..we are Northerners just loving all of your remarkable food..Our mom is 92,and her best advice is as always ” Get dressed,comb your hair,put on your make-up(especially lipstick),look in the mirror,to make sure all looks right to you….then walk out the door…and never once think about yourself again,all about others”….ps.make sure your lipstick is still on while doing all,for others!!! love that advice,and it really works..timeless!

  2. Marlowe Pacheco says

    Christy, you always touch my heart with all your memories of family and how important they are. I am a caregiver for my Mom who is 87 yrs. old, and I have to admit I sometimes become weary, but thank you for reminding me to live every moment enjoying my time that I have with her. My Grandma was from Alabama, and I will always remember special times with her. She was a great cook, especially fried apple pies!! Grandpa always grew peanuts for us Grandchildren, and many happy memories of going to the garden with them and all the flowers along the path. Thank you so much for always being an inspiration, God bless you………

    • John says

      Marlowe, I am also from Alabama and my Aunt used to make fried apple pies that were really delicious. I have been trying to get the recipe for them but no one seems to have it and my aunt recently passed away. Can you help with this. It seems that she used dried apples and canned biscuits, or maybe I’m wrong about the biscuits.

      • LaVona Sundquist says

        Love your recipes, your family stories and the wisdom you live by. God made this earth to sustain all humans, we will always have. The earth is temporal, but humans live FOREVER. Bible truth.

        When cutting up my apples for freezing I use Fruit-Fresh. Slice into a large bowl, sprinkle the Fruit-Fresh keep adding apples slices and Fruit-Fresh, stir until all slices are covered. Either freeze on a cookie sheet and put into large bag or put into seperate bags. I measure out, say 3 apples for the Apple Doppler Cake and etc. The individual frozen ones can be used for frying, pancakes etc. No matter how you freeze apples they will be limp when thewed, because of all the water.

        God Bless and may he grant you years to keep doing the wonderful work you do with family and food.

    • Jo Traugh says

      Sprinkle apples (or any fruit) with powdered ascorbic acid or dissolve vitamin C tablets in a small amount of water and submerge fruit in it and it will not turn brown nor will taste of fruit be affected. When making applesauce, toss a vitamin C tablet in while it is cooking and your applesauce will remain light in color. I use approximately 100 mg. per quart of sauce.

  3. Judy says

    Losing my Dad at a young age, my Mom was a 35 yr. old widow with 4 young girls. We had a wonderful childhood because of her, and always credit her with many, many great qualities! Because of her own heart wrenching reality to our happy and complete family, she always taught us to be self-sufficient. Love completely, but always know how to stand on your own two feet! To this day, my Mom continues to be the heart and soul of our very large and growing families!! Amen to wonderful Mamas!!! She raised 4 more passionate Mamas to add to the mix!! 😉 (Of course this is just one teeny tiny tidbit of all her fabulous lessons and traditions she has passed along to us!! I could write you a book, but I will keep it shortened to a post!!) :)

  4. Lunette Murrill says

    My parents taught me to love God and have faith In all circumstances. I will be 70 soon and their example has kept me through many trials in life. I am thankful for my Godly heritage. Love your blogs!

  5. Diana says

    Christy, you hit on so many things that Mom & Dad taught us to remember, 3 basic things: to treat others like we wanted to be treated; you’re no better than anybody else, but you’re good as anybody; & you’re known by the company you keep. They also taught me some people bear watching, give folks benefit of doubt, til proven wrong. (I had to learn some of that on my own, but I’m over it.) I am so thankful for the many things I learned from them, Grammaw always said let your word be your bond. Those are very important to me. (she also taught me to put tomatoes & peaches in hot water to peel them easy!) I lost Dad at 17, Mom taught me so much about housekeeping, gardening & cooking! (& being a decent woman) They meant the world to me & I miss them everyday. That’s how I freeze apples too, my Mother & Grammaw taught me! I also quarter mine for frying, pies & crisps. But I dice them in chunks for fried pies & sauce. I don’t thaw them before using, they get mushy. I was raised to waste not, want not, to use leftovers & make something new. I’m proud to say I learn a lot from you too. I look forward to the message’s we receive through you! <3 to all.

  6. says

    Hi Christy,
    There are so many things I learned from my Bigmama and her mother my Little Bigmama (neither of them weighed 100# soaking wet or stood more than 5′, but they were mighty little women). They were share croppers as well and worked in the cotton fields here in West Texas. I think the one that comes to mind first is from Little Bigmama about Cleanliness is next to Godliness. She always said it didn’t matter how rich or poor you were. You could keep yourself clean. She would always say, water is free and soap is a nickel a bar. I love and miss these wonderful women everyday and I only hope that I can be as good a Grammy to my grandsons as they were Bigmama’s to me. <3 Kim

  7. Pat Sparkman says

    Thank you Christy for the wonderful post today. I hope to see you in Nashville this Sunday. My daughter is Andrea Lindsley and her client is Martha White. Hope to see you there, I will be there with my husband on business, all the way from Scottsboro, Al.(I do get out some). Love your recipes and cannot wait for your new book. Love you sweet girl.

  8. Dana says

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What a great post. One that is relevant every day, and I’ve been needing words of wisdom and encouragement lately. This post has helped. I miss my grandmothers very much and wish I had their words of wisdom to enrich my life. Thanks again for this post. And apple freezing advice!

  9. Susan B. says

    My dad always told us,”act as good as you look”. What good is it to be all prettied up, just to act ugly or with bad manners? And Momma would always tell us, “get your education”. She so wanted to go to high school, but only got to finish eighth grade. All three of her kids got to finish college, due to her hard work. Miss them more each day! And thank YOU for your words of wisdom today–need to put on my “thankfulness ” cap!

  10. Sharron Horton says

    Thank you for all your posts, Christy! I look forward to seeing what you come up with next 😉
    I have used the salt bath for peeled and frozen apples for 30 plus years. I would do up a bushel basket of apples and I used a ‘dish pan’ but I don’t think I used quite as much salt. Anyway, they were always beautiful when I took the bags of apples from the freezer to ‘fry’ in a skillet with a stick of butter and a cup of sugar! Yummy!

  11. CJ says

    My dad always said to reach for the sky BUT to keep one toe on the ground in case you fall; another one he used to tell me is “you have a mouth – use it!” (speak up for yourself and don’t be afraid to ask someone.) When you wondered about something they would say “all they can say is NO”. And the best one was if something bad is happening – think about the absolute worst thing that can happen – and you’ll see that it really is not so bad after all. My joy came when my grown daughter said to her husband – what is the worst that can happen? Thanks for your wonderful posts – they cause us to think – CJ

  12. Jennifer Rusch says

    For those who say their apples are “spongy” when defrosted, you’re probably soaking them too long. You don’t want them to absorb a bunch of salty water, just coat them well enough to get the salt water (ie, preservative) on them. Also, try slices instead of wedges. Unless you specifically need wedges for a recipe, just package them as you’ll need them for your recipe. If they end up a bit “spongy” it won’t matter because you won’t need to handle them.

  13. Ken says

    Thanks for the idea of freezing apples. I’ll use mine for smoothies and fried apples.

    Couldn’t resist posting a couple of great quotes that always stuck with me. My dad used to say “it’s easier to be honest than to have a good memory!”

    One day in the snow, pumping gas into my truck, going to see my father who was in intensive care, a stranger looked at me and asked “how’s it going?” I replied “not to good, how about you?” He said something to me that changed my life. He said “Any day above ground’s a good day son!” Man was that guy right!

    Anyway, God bless everyone and thanks for the great post and web sight!

  14. Taterbug says

    Hey Christy! I used your tutorial last fall to freeze some beautiful orchard apples, and I just now remembered I had them! I was thinking of making some pies, and just wondered if it’s really OK to put the apple wedges into the pie crust still frozen. Would I need to lengthen the baking time?

  15. Linda Werstuck says

    My grandmother must have been sisters your ggmother! Lol..Some her famous sayings for me..You can’t unring a bell! So hold your tongue till you know how you want to respond!
    Another was..” Linda..Bad things happen…When good people do Nothing! She said to sum up a situation fast..if I could help
    ..always do it.. if To much for me??
    Find someone who could help! Never do nothing! The smallest act of kindness can change the whole world!
    I miss her everyday!! Loved her and I try to live up to her guidelines..

  16. Polly Glover says

    Hi, I was looking for a way to freeze my apples so i can keep them for my parakeets and i saw your recipe. Do you know if the salt will harm the birds or do you have to use salt to freeze them.

    • Cindi says

      Salt probably won’t hurt, but my mom and I have used a quick doss in lemon juice and water, then freeze immediately. I dry mine a bit. If you are worried about salt, use non iodized, definitely. You should never use iodized in canning or freezing.

  17. Nancy says

    What about canning apple slices? Would your recipe for freezing apple slices work as well in canning them? I’ve never tried canning or freezing them until this year. Since my freezer is full I’d like to can some apple slices for pies etc.

  18. Jenny says

    Great post! Might have to mention this in my own blog later. Was simply looking for instructions on freezing apples but your intro really made my morning.

    My father instilled a lot of wisdom in my brothers and me from a young age. He was the “weekend” parent and as an adult now, I can understand why he did that. I only have nieces and a nephew, but I’ve started doing the same when they visit me.

    The top things I’ve learned from him are:
    1. You guys (my brothers and me) always need to stick together. You can hate me, you can hate your mother, but never lose each other.
    They are both my best friends, and as I say, “I love them too much.”

    2. (This kind of goes along with your money quote) Judge people solely by the size of their heart and the strength of their character.
    I haven’t sat down and thought about whether I do this with others, but it’s absolutely how I judge myself.

    3. (This is a rough quote) Why are you depressed? Life is amazing. Look around you. Look at the trees, feel the wind. We’re lucky to be able to experience these things and their beauty.
    I’ve had my bouts of depression. Topick myself up even slightly, I just look out the window, sometimes for hours, watching the trees in the wind.

    Thank you fort this post! Will be freezing my apples shortly and enjoying this day post-reflection.

  19. Lynne Hester says

    My Momma was a Home Ec. Teacher for thirty two years. One of her sayings was “there is a place for everything, and everything in its place”.( great for kitchen planning)
    She loved teaching and loved teaching her students !
    Martha Rankin is missed by her family and all her students! She would have loved your website and Christian point of view! Another saying she liked was keep on,keeping on!
    Keep on smiling Christy!
    Lynne Hester

  20. Pat Havens says

    My mama had a homily for just about everything but twp things she taught me have made a big difference in my life and I hope in the lives of my grown children. She used to tell us Cant never did anything and If at first you do not succeed try , try, again, in other words keep it up , practice makes perfect. Because of my mama I thought I could do anything I put my mind to and most of the time I did! I was able to do things other people told me I could not do because I did not have the training or the ability. So I got the training and I guess I must have had the ability.
    She taught us to persevere and to lean on and trust Jesus. I miss her.

  21. Diana G says

    I just loved and agree with alot of the comments. I whole heartedly agree with Diana (good name! LOL) . I have to add Respect, Dignity and Honesty are what the life lessons I have learned from both of my parents, and grandparents (bless all their souls). But unfortunately one runs into people who are so domineering and demanding (DH’s parents) that they have no idea how to give: respect, dignity and honesty.
    All I can say is life goes on …

  22. yvette says

    Can you freeze cooked apples? My mom wants to cook the apples down with some brown sugar and cinnamon let it cool put it in the freezer bag and freeze it can this be done and how long will it be good for?

    • says

      I don’t know that I’ve ever frozen cooked apples but I don’t see why not. The texture won’t be as firm but then again, cooked apples aren’t supposed to be firm anyway :) Frozen food is “good” usually for years, but freezer burn and other cosmetic issues may make it less appealing to eat so that is going to depend on how you freeze it. Try to get as much air out as possible and they should be great with no issue for about 3 months. If you use a foodsaver they would be good for well over a year.


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