One of my most favorite things to do in the fall, is to go apple picking. We've gone every year for the last .. oh, I dunno 5 0r 6 and it just never gets old. A few years ago our favorite Orchard closed up shop and we've taken to going to one further up the road in the next town over. Due to the fact that the closest orchard closed, our new spot has become very busy and weekends are quite crowded. We were originally going to go on Friday but it was cold and windy and then it rained, so yesterday found us headed out after lunch. This year we got smart and borrowed our neighbors wagon so that we didn't have to lug a bushel of apples back to the car. When we first started picking apples we only picked Cortland's. I wasn't well versed in what kind of apples are good for eating or pies or what have you, and they were recommended so that was what we got. Last year we added Honey Crisp apples into the mix because they are so good for snacking on. This year we picked 1/2 a bushel of Cortland's and the other half bushel was mostly McIntosh, and the rest Honey Crisp.
The only thing about apple picking that I do not like, aside from the mobs of other people out in the orchard, is how quickly it goes by. When we go picking strawberries, or blueberries, they are smaller and take longer to acquire the desired amount. Apples are larger and therefore they pile up faster. Mr. Man told me that he doesn't think we spent enough time climbing the trees and enjoying the day. He's still disgruntled because our last orchard had larger trees that were great for climbing up and getting apples, and this newer one has short trees that are great for picking but no so great for climbing. He'll get over it. He told me after spouting all that out, in response to my "Next year you can stay home", that he still had fun and he doesn't want to stay home. (eyerolls) The sun came out while we were there and it warmed up just enough to make it pleasant and we stopped at the pumpkin patch and took in the scenery around us.
This year, like last year, there was a wedding going on at the far end of the orchard. I thought it was a little too chilly for an outdoor wedding, but as we were headed back to the car with our apples (you pay first), the tractor/wagon-thingy brought the bridal party (women/bride/moms) down and we stopped so as not to get in the way of the photographer. The girls wore lovely raspberry dresses and the bride was just beautiful. Having just been involved in a wedding it was a lovely reminder of H's big day. Ms. Thang mentioned that the orange flowers in their bouquets were the same orange flowers that we had in ours. I think that perhaps, if I could go back 13 years I might choose to get married in the fall instead of the middle of August. I'm more of a fall than a summer anyhow. We took a very scenic ride back home, a different way than we normally go, and then I made Apple Betty for desert. That is The Boy's favorite apple treat and I make it every year on the day we pick apples.
Today I got up earlier than everyone else and put in the first batch of Daylong Applesauce in the CrockPot. It's one of those things that takes 8 hours to make, but at hour 6 you have to mash the apples and add the sugar/spices and so I can only make it on the weekend. A 6qt pot full of apples yields only 3 pints full of applesauce, but it is so worth it. Especially in the middle of winter when you take a pint out of the freezer and enjoy it with dinner, or hot over vanilla bean ice cream. Thankfully apples have a long shelf life and my recipe box is full of yummy ideas. I think I might make some chocolate chip apple bread next.
This afternoon The Boy and I walked my running route with the pedometer to see exactly how far I've been running and what landmarks are at key points (1 mile, 1.5 miles) so that I know how far I have to go before I turn around and come back. My goal is 3.1 miles, and I was planning on entering a 5K next weekend before my training had a 2 week set back. It's OK though. I realize that I only ran 1.5 miles yesterday instead of the 2 I should have, but I'm going for running the whole time (20 mins yesterday) as apposed to the whole distance right now. Speed will come later, I hope. I took the camera so I could photograph what landmarks were at my key points and got some beautiful foliage photos that I will share tomorrow, or maybe Tuesday.