Sunday, October 11, 2009

A birthday apple-picking adventure

This year, Giselle wanted to celebrate her birthday by engaging in hard manual we went apple-picking with a few friends. Our destination was Fishkill Farms in Dutchess County, NY. The drive up was quite nice - the leaves are starting to turn colors outside of New York City - and Fishkill Farms itself had a lovely view of distant mountains:

vegetable garden with apple orchard in the distance

Before heading out to the orchard, we admired a roving herd of cheese pumpkins:

yes, they are named that because they resemble giant wheels of cheese

We also visited the farm's chickens, who proved more difficult to photograph than the pumpkins, because they refused to stand still:

chicken, this was your best shot

Eventually we commenced with the hard work of picking (and sampling) a variety of apples: Macoun, McIntosh, Mutsu, Empire, Spartan, and Jonagold. Here are some gentle, apple-loving folk enjoying the beautiful fall day:

not pictured: Nykki, Charlie, Lizz

After our bags of apples got too heavy to carry, we dropped them off at the car and made a quick stop at the pumpkin patch before heading out. Apparently there's a pumpkin shortage in some parts of the country, including the Northeast - so we decided to stock up:

Then we drove back to Harlem with 25 lbs of apples in tow:

It turns out that's a lot of apples:

What to do with 25 lbs of apples? Well, we reserved a few pounds - mainly Macs, Spartans, and Empires - for eating out of hand. We used the Mutsus (the large green tart apples above) in an apple crisp and then made applesauce and apple butter with the rest. Stay tuned for more on that...

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