Last weekend, as I mentioned on Wednesday, we had our annual family apple-picking expedition. Apple-picking is one of my favorite family activities, and something I look forward to doing all year. Of course, every year we end up going at the end of September or in October and we’re invariably surprised that apple-picking season is almost over by the time we get to the orchard. Who knew? Not us, apparently, because every year this is brand new information. (Maybe now that I’ve written it down, next year, we’ll remember to go in mid-September when there are still plenty of apples.)
The orchard where we pick also has rows of grapevines! I was intrigued by this… maybe next year I’ll find out whether these are wine grapes or table grapes.
Although it was late in the season, there were still plenty of apples left for us to pick from the rows of late-harvest trees. Last year we picked a half bushel, but this year I really wanted a full bushel – half for eating and making applesauce and apple butter, and half for baking into pies, crisps, cakes and quickbreads to eat all season long and give away. (I now have so many apples I have a feeling I’ll be giving a lot of these baked goods away, but that’s something we can discuss another time.)
Peanut was thrilled about our excursion, and I was so glad that she was excited and enjoying herself! Last year, she really had no idea what was going on (as you can see from her concerned little face below).
LOL! When we picked in 2013, she pretty much dangled off Daddy, frowning like some kind of very disgruntled marsupial. This year, she was totally into it and even picked several apples herself.
We had talked up the apple-picking excursion for days before. Peanut has an “Apple the Apple” Blabla doll, so we chatted about how much Apple likes to go apple-picking (she came with us in the car but didn’t make it into the orchard because we didn’t want to lose her) and we read Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! about seventeen thousand times the week prior to the outing. (In which Nancy goes apple-picking on a class field trip and gets paired with a troublemaking trip buddy.) Since Peanut loves Fancy Nancy and wants to do everything Nancy does, she really latched onto the idea – even to the point of adorably shouting “APPLES GALORE!” every five minutes while we were picking.
We worked on picking the apples carefully and putting them into the wagon gently…
It worked the first few times, but then Peanut got too excited and every time she successfully picked an apple, she immediately flung it as far as she could. Which was usually about four feet, so we’d just pick it up and put it in the wagon ourselves. Haha!
Obviously we tested the merchandise. Upon trying the Jonagold above, Peanut gasped, “It’s COLD!” It was a chilly day and the apples were as cool and crisp as if they’d come from the refrigerator. I like a nice cold apple, but I don’t think it was quite what Peanut was expecting.
The Jonagolds are great baking apples, so I have some big plans for this half bushel! We also grabbed Jonathans for snacking.
Pretty pleased with our morning’s work…
And of course we took family pictures. The family selfie is an important part of our apple-picking tradition! We got a few cute shots and settled on this one as best representing us and our kooky little munchkin:
Of course there were also some outtakes, because taking selfies is super hilarious and one of us couldn’t control her giggles.
I’m so glad that we made the time to pick apples again this year. It was a chilly morning, but beautiful and so much fun to be out in the country, enjoying the blue skies and the rows of gnarled trees in the orchard and the blazing foliage.
Have you done your apple-picking for the year? Did you remember to go during the peak season, or are you constantly surprised by how short pick-your-own season is, like we are?