Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pick a Peck

It has started to feel like fall in New England. The temperatures have dropped and we are finally getting some rain. Yesterday was one of those slightly chilly, slightly rainy days and Liz, Bonnie, Becky and I had planned to pick apples. The rain wasn't going to stop us. We headed north to Ipswich to pick our apples.

Apple pickers must ride on a hayride out to the orchard. There was no walking allowed even if it meant you had to sit on soggy hay bales all the way out. We must have really wanted to pick our own apples because we all tolerated getting soggy bums.

Liz noticed that there was a scent in the air on the farm. We later found out why:

The tractors were running on fuel that was scented with apple cider. Quite yummy.

After we picked our pecks of apples, we made good use of the dry barn/store before leaving the farm. There were tons of locally made goods to chose from and a live blue grass band to make shopping all that much more enjoyable . I came away with cider donuts, apple cider, honey, cinnamon bread and orange marmalade in addition to my 10 pounds of apples.

I was hoping to also find a good bottle of wine/hard cider from their winery. After Becky and I tasted at least 10 kinds of wine, we decided that we weren't going to find something we liked. I did taste some crazy stuff like dandelion wine, rhubarb wine, and many other fruity concoctions.

Liz, Bonnie, Becky and Me

Today was the day that I attempted to make use of my peck of apples. A peck is a dang lot of apples. This morning I made applesauce, apple bars and apple crisp and I still have over half of my apples left. I'm definitely going to have to make more applesauce later and eat nothing but apple based foods for the next few weeks.

I never paid attention before to what variety of apples are best for what uses but after hearing of Liz's botched applesauce, I needed to put the varieties to their proper use. My apples were all jumbled in one big bag so, using the chart I got, I sorted them by variety. Gala was the winner from this farm, but the Gingergold and Honeycrisp were close runners up.

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