We went apple picking on the weekend. It was one of those magical fall days where the sun is warm, the shade cool. Here, in North East Pennsylvania, the colours are approaching their peak, meaning there is plenty of green in between vivid yellows and reds, which makes for a lovely contrast.
The apples played hide and seek with us, invisible behind thick clusters of green leaves until we passed by. Then a flash of red or yellow would catch our eye. Upon turning around, we would wonder how we had missed so many apples.
When we got home, we wondered why we had picked so many apples.
I ate three; they taste amazing right off the tree, all warm from the sun and free of any polishing wax. A dust off and they’re ready to eat. But, what to do with the other sixty?
My husband made a pie. Much to my annoyance, I was not allowed to eat any of it on Sunday night. It had to cool, he said. Set or something. It’s sitting on the counter now, calling to me—crust all golden and pushed up at the centre because there are so many apples hidden inside. I’ll get a slice tonight, or he will be finding somewhere else to live.
I also plan to make apple sauce and I want to try a recipe I clipped a couple of years ago for an apple cake. We have crepes on the menu, which are served with buttery little balls of apple doused in a lemony sauce. Oh, and we want to make fritters, which apparently gives us an excuse to buy a deep fryer. We’ve wanted one for years. My husband wants to fry chickens. I want to make doughnuts.
Many of the apples will be eaten as they are. I don’t eat a lot of fruit—I prefer vegetables—but there is something about apples, in season, that makes them irresistible. Same with oranges in the winter. They just taste better then.
The other joys of Autumn for me, food-wise, are squash and the left over tomatoes and basil from the garden. For about three weeks now, I’ve been sneaking basil into every dish that might consider it a complement. I made tomato soup, tomato and mozzarella salad, pizza, pasta sauce and pesto. Lots and lots of pesto. I have two jars of it in the freezer. Why the mad rush on basil? It’s been there since the spring and we have used it all summer, but I have so much of it and it’s always the first to suffer when the nights get cold. And I love the taste.
I’m stunned by how many tomatoes are still ripening. It’s wonderful, of course, and it means we’re eating a lot of tomato dishes as well. I’ve been making fresh salsa, too, which we all love.
Once we get the apple situation under control I’ll start baking pumpkin flavoured things. And making soup. I love pumpkin soup! I’m aware it’s called squash soup in America, but pumpkin sounds better to me. Not like I squashed my pumpkin by accident and decided to call it soup.
Right, time to stop rambling and go eat another apple. Happy Autumn. 🙂