Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Apple Picking

T's birthday was a few days back, and in typical fashion, G&K found a wonderful and unique way to celebrate it by spending good friends doing something seasonal and fun and very much in line with the local flavor - we went apple picking. Best of all, they like to stress good times doing things that don't stress presents and gimmicks. Last year we went fishing, and a good time is had by all.

Either way, there was no way we were going to miss out. We had arranged to meet at Riverview Farms in Plainfield and the day was looking a little dicey in terms of weather. Around this time, or should I say pretty much always, the days just can't seem to make up their mind in terms of weather. It was drizzly in the morning, then it looked nice, then the clouds moved in and it was cool. Of course, being the neurotic parent that I am, I packed things for every contingency: sunblock, hats, raincoats, warm coats. It was a little embarrassing, actually.

By the time we got there, the sun had come out and it was even a little warm. Perfect day, actually, for picking apples, and the crowds were out in full force. The kids had a blast and took off through the orchard. Being the aspiring gardener that I am, I can't tell you how impressed I was with the trees. Row upon row of beautiful apple trees, and raspberry and blueberry bushes, to boot. They looked so nice. There were a lot of varieties, and I know that everyone has their preference, but I personally focused on only one - Gala. For my money, the best eating apple there is. Most people seemed intent on the Macintosh or the Empire. I tried both and they were tart, but I know people like that in their apples. Galas are so sweet. I realize I'm in the minority, because not only was there only one row of Galas while there were dozens of rows of the others, but the Gala trees had all their apples still on the branches, at low levels. The other trees were picked clean.

Oh well, my good fortune, because I was able to pick to my heart's content. The kids seemed to focus on the Empires and the Honey Crisp, both of which are beautiful to behold but are pretty much destined for apple crisp. We're not big on apple sauce.

There was a corn maze as well, which the kids eventually converged on, and they had a lot of fun running away from the parents. In fact, they did a great job of avoiding us, though I think a little trail-cutting was involved. At some point I think they were growing weary and I could sense some fatigue in their voices. They just wanted to get out. I followed a safe distance behind them, not to too close to where they could see me, and I could hear every word they said. For the record, I got lost several times and cut between trails, myself.

After picking, we sat down to apple cider and snacks and it was a wonderful day.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Dawna Capln for the pic.

No comments: