After a busy week there is always huge temptation on the weekend to stay home, have a quiet day, relax a little, comfy sofas and a mug of hot Earl Grey tea, a book, a snooze. A kiddie shouts! and I’m jolted back to reality. Who am I kidding? We have three kids under five. Relaxation isn’t something that comes easy around here. I actually find it more relaxing to go outside, go exploring. Even if I’m alone. Rather than stay indoors with all their energy to burn.
Lets go apple picking
There is something magical and exciting about heading out on a Fall morning to go apple picking. Arriving at the orchards in the warm sunshine, clutching bags and baskets with one thing in mind: Apple Crumble! Sweet, warm apple sauce topped with cinnamon and crunchy, baked crumble with lashings of vanilla ice cream. So armed with empty sacks and good friends for company we boarded tractors at the orchard last weekend in search of trees laden with Cortland and Silken apples.
We picked, well the kiddies did, with abundance. They picked like pros, so efficient! (…totally unlike their performance a few months back in the strawberry patch….) I just sat and enjoyed the scene. The kids ran from tree to tree with enormous smiles, returning with armfuls of rosy red apples. They made light work of filling our bags.
It's easy to get carried away in the orchard. A wonderful morning, close to the land. They picked. I imagined the warm, delicious apple pie smells floating around my kitchen for the next few weeks. Reverie really, until it’s time to carry your harvest back to the car. Wrangling three little people (one heavy, weary little guy in a sling, a tired three-year old who can't possibly walk another step) and 46 lbs of apples, this was no mean feat. (It took all of five minutes before all three of the kids were sleeping soundly on the drive home.)
We love this little family farm, and return every year. You get to enjoy fresh hot sweet corns and roast hot dogs over open coals for your morning snack. The kids clamber on the enormous stacks of hay bails, and dig deep with their construction toys in several feet of dry corn in one of the barns.
We picked two varieties of apples. Looking for those that are the perfect size for school lunches and snacks on the run, others the perfect taste and texture for baking.
So now you have pounds of apples. I would definitely recommend taking a look through them. My kiddies didn’t discriminate against apples with blemishes, or those with a bug or two living inside. Use these apples first. Apples will store very nicely in a cold garage or cellar for several months, but if you’re eager to get cooking, here are our favourite suggestions:
1) Apple sauce. Always a favourite, great by itself warm or cold. We mix it with our morning oats and scoop it into our favourite smoothies. Delicious.
3) Apple muffins – We love these One Bowl Carrot Apple Muffins from the Minimalist Baker.
4) Fresh apple juice.
Theo said this evening as he devoured an enormous bowl of apple sauce, ‘This tastes like sunshine.’ I think he’s right.
We still have baskets of apples. If you have any favourite recipes please post them in the comments box below, I would love to try them.
Thanks for popping in.