Apple picking is one of my new favorite hobbies. I went this weekend for the first time ever and it was so much fun!! Besides getting to be outdoors in the pretty sunshine, you get to pick your own food, straight off the tree, and then eat one or two while you're at it and then carry all of the apples you pick home. Kyle pointed out that the farmer's are just happy because they found someone to do their job for them. What a great idea! Farm life seems awesome. In addition to apple picking they had a pumpkin patch, live music, homemade pumpkin beer, fresh apple cider donuts, turkey legs, and roasted corn on the cob! It was sunny and perfect plaid and scarf wearing weather. I took these two hipster girls' picture in the apple orchard and instead of saying thanks they said, "You look SO fall. Like soooo much autumn right now." It was the best compliment you could give me that day.
Another great thing about the apple picking adventure is that it was only about 1 hour from our apartment in Harlem. It still amazes me how close the transition from New York City life is to the quiet and rural farmland of upstate NY. I think fall may be my new favorite season, I mean it used to be for years until I decided once and for all last year, that spring was my favorite (plus our wedding anniversary and my birthday is in spring). But, after truly experiencing fall twice now, (and finally apple picking!!) it may be my new favorite. Although...summer is really fun too because of swimming and sunshine and vacations. Maybe I just like everything!!! (Except winter...still not there yet.)
After we got home and realized how much loot of apples we had on our hands, there was a moment of panic because how are two busy people supposed to eat 15 pounds of apples before they go bad?!!!? Well I'm not sure yet, but I started off by making something I would never make on my own otherwise: apple sauce! This was so incredibly easy, and it made me wonder why more people don't make this on their own. The freshest and most natural-tasting apple sauce recipe, right here!
Homemade Spiced Apple Sauce (makes approx. 1 quart)
- 8 apples (any kind work!), peeled, cored, and sliced evenly
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cloves
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- juice of 1 lemon
Fill a large pot with the prepared apple slices, and pour all of the ingredients in on top. Heat pot on medium-high heat, and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once apples are very soft and puffy-like, mash down with a fork or potato-masher, until smooth. (You can also use a food processor or blender to make it more smooth, but I wanted mine more chunky and thick. Plus...less clean-up!) Wait until cool, and serve or refrigerate for later!