Nancy doesn’t peel the crabapples and does leave the stems on. Use a good-size pot and combine the sugar, vinegar, water, cinnamon and cloves.
Bring to a boil and let boil about 5 minutes. Add the food coloring and all the crabapples and cook slowly until the crabapples are tender. Let stand overnight.
In the morning drain off the syrup and cook down until it’s the consistency of honey. Pack the cooked crabapples into hot jars and cover with boiling syrup. Seal.
Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Now you’re ready to enjoy pickled crabapples during the winter.
There are still lots of crabapples on the tree. They’re up higher. I saw some ladies down the street picking theirs by spreading a blue tarp on the ground then using leaf rakes to which they had duct-taped long wooden poles. This let them get the crabapples without climbing and risking life and limb.
Readers with questions or comments for Dave Kessler may write to him in care of this publication.