Thursday, October 13, 2011

Apple Picking and Apple Cider

I had so much fun peach picking this summer that I was determined to go apple picking this fall. I just didn't know when that would be. And then a free day materialized out of a nowhere and so Kris and I packed up our stuff and this time headed North to Maryland's Larriland Farm for some time in the country. 

Although the first half of the drive was a little "urban" the last half winds you through gorgeous fields and overarching trees. 

The farm is on a huge track of land and seeing that it was a Tuesday, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  

It might seem obvious to say this- but you can only pick what is ripe and so that means you are only allowed in certain orchards and fields. 

For us that meant we could choose from beets, chard, pumpkins and a couple varieties of apple: Stayman, Ida Red and Braebrun.

Kris will want me to tell you that when we first made it into a Staymen apple orchard I was almost convinced that we were supposed to gather the apples from the ground since it seemed that there were none of the trees and most of the ones on the ground looked fine.

But once we got far enough down the row, we found plenty of trees still full of apples. 

We weren't as tempted to eat the fruit right off the branch like we had for the peaches.

It's probably because these apples are kinda dirty and need a good scrubbing, in the sink or on your pant leg, before you take a bite 

The next orchard over was taller and if we're being honest, more exciting. Ladders! 

I made Kris move a ladder to a tree with unreachable apples so I could go up and rescue them. 

I think Kris definitely dressed the part. Way to go, Fashionista! 

 Next was the pumpkin patch

 I was hoping for some white pumpkins but they only grow the orange variety- I'm not really complaining though because they had a great selection. The patch was a little surreal and almost felt like a set. 

 On our way back from the fields. Little ghosts on the island. 

 They had all sorts of varieties of gourds at the barn and I treated myself to a Cinderella Pumpkin (among a few others....). I justified my rather large haul by reminding myself that these are all edible. We'll have to see what I come up with in November to eat them all! 

In the meantime, here is a little recipe I've been using on a regular basis to turn apple cider into a drink worthy of desert status.

Creamy Double Apple Cider
For 1
  • 1-2 cups apple cider
  • a few glugs of maple syrup
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a few glugs of Laird's Applejack Brandy
  • Whipped cream
  • Pumpkin pie spice
Warm the apple cider in a thick mug in the microwave. Once the cider is warm enough, add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and brandy. Taste and adjust according to your preference. Top the whole thing with a thick swirl of whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie spice. 

1 comment:

  1. a. i've never seen anyone cuter picking apples. in a DRESS. PICKING APPLES. too cute for words.

    b. the hubby's "can't pick apples in all the orchards" sad face = priceless.