Ethel Inman, my grandmother, has sulfured apples for many years.
She was married in 1922 and since then she has tried to
sulfur apples every year. Some years she was unable to sulfur
apples because they could not afford to buy apples.
I decided to do my term project on sulfuring apples because
so few people had ever heard of using sulfur to preserve apples.
Also, many people did not believe that the process would actually
preserve the apples.
I had a difficult time finding other people who sulfured
apples differently from the way my grandmother did. Alpha
Williams and Georgie McVey both sulfur apples. Mrs. Williams
learned to sulfur apples from my grandmother and Mrs. McVey
learned from Mrs. Williams. After talking to them, it was a
repeat except that Mrs. Williams used hot coals in the bottom
of her barrel rather than plow blades. I wrote to Billie Jo
Tatum for more information on sulfuring apples; however, she
never responded to my letter.
However, my grandmother's method of sulfuring apples does
differ from those accounts which are recorded. For example,
in The Housekeeper's Apple Book by L. Gertrude Mackay (1918)
both ends of the barrel are cut out, but my grandmother's
barrel has only the top cut out. Also, in the book they use
live coals, but my grandmother uses hot iron plow blades.
In the book it recommends to pour boiling water over the
sulfured apples and to let them stahd for several minutes before
using them. However, my grandmother uses them directly from
Mackay, L. Gertrude. The Housekeeper's Apple Book. Boston,
Little, Brown, and Company, 1918,.p. 9.