Thursday, October 23, 2008
Though I love my place on the Earth during all seasons, Autumn is an especially lovely time to be in New England. Not only are the colors amazing but there are so many community/agricultural events to fill your days and keep you outside when the weather starts to remind you of how nice it is reading a book under the feather comforter. Many of these, for our family at least, revolve around apples.
We innagurated the apple season with a trip to a local orchard that was new to us. A few of the local schools take field trips there and we decided to take a visit with our good friends Meg & Thom and their girls Aviva and Liesl. Meg and I met around three and a half years ago when she hired the midwife I studied with to attend her birth. They had just moved to the area and Miryam was half a year old when Aviva was born and so we got to know each other quite well during those early mama months. Our second children were born within two weeks of each other and now when we are together we are quite out numbered.
The apples went into 2 dozen jars of apples sauce and two apple crisps (yum). It took us two days and we clearly will need more apples sauce to get through the winter. I trying to find the guts to commit to making some more but it is such a production. Next year we need to make sure to completely clear the whole weekend for saucing, have the papa's around t0 help with the littles and some hard cider and munchies to keep our strength (and courage) up.
The following weekend Andy's mom came for her traditional Columbus Day visit and we traveled to our usual orchard. It's up high in the hills with a great view but the apples were a bit sad this year and difficult to pick as they were so high up. They also are a "spray all we like" orchard and were more than doubly more expensive than our new "low-spray" orchard.
The thing that made it all worth it in the end was our picnic of sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, apples picked minutes before, cold cider, and burning hot, fresh cider donuts. Very dangerous and very delicious. Miryam also got to test out her tree-climbing skills. Apples trees are clearly the best for climbing and our house has exactly zero climbing trees. I consider tree-climbing an essential skill for childhood so we made sure to get lots of practice at the orchard.
These apples were snacked on throughout the week (and many were found half eaten and forgotten throughout the house) and then made into a double batch of apple butter. It cooked and cooked and cooked in Meg's oven and tastes delicious. I have big plans for fresh bread, butter and apple butter breakfasts this week.
Posted by Gillian at 7:24 PM