Sunday, October 5, 2008

I-Pick, U-Pick, We All Pick

In my eternal quest for Fall, I cajoled Steven into driving us out to Purcellville this weekend to go apple-picking at Crooked Run Orchards.

We had a heck of a time finding the place. (Pick-Your-Own-Apples is not really a destination choice available on the GPS system...) Suffice to say that Steven said very little to me during the entire three miles of dirt road toward what I thought was the right orchard, and the entire three miles of dirt road back out of what was clearly not the right orchard.


But lookee, we found it! And we picked!


At our favorite Saturday morning breakfast place, we told the chef that we were planning to go to the orchards after breakfast, and she gasped and then begged us to bring her back some apples.

Which clearly meant that I was now on a mission to pick twice the number of apples that I'd originally planned to pick.



The signs beside each row of trees designated the type of apple trees in each row. I stuck with an old classic.


But these were nothing like the waxy, mealy versions you see stacked up in that ubiquitous pyramid in every grocery store's produce section. No sir. These were crisp and fresh and still warm from the sun.


I might have gone a bit overboard.


(And that was just half of it.)

It was also just really nice to wander through the farm and enjoy the not-sweltering-but-still-not-cold-yet weather of early October.

Except for the mosquitos the size of small horses right around that stream there.


Vicious little buggers, I tell you what.

The orchard also sold pumpkins by the pound, and I've been itching (no pun intended, given the mosquitos and all) to roast some pumpkin seeds for my work salads and perhaps make a roasted pumpkin soup of sorts.


Also, how long does a carved pumpkin last? Can I carve it now and let it sit on the porch for a month, or would that be a bit much?


I've eaten one apple from our haul already today, and I have plans for an apple pie in the immediate future.

(Although the cashier at the orchard told me that red delicious apples do not make for good pies. Does anyone know whether this is true? I refuse to believe it -- I can see how the icky grocery store ones might not fare so well, but the fresh-from-the-orchard types have to be good. Don't they?)


Eric said...

That orchard looked like a lot of fun. I like the creek.

The Red Delicious will probably become somewhat mushy - McIntosh have this problem too. Great for eating, but can't take the heat. You need something firmer to maintain distinct slices at the end of cooking. My mom always used Jonathans; I think I used Jonagolds last year. I have now revealed my apple pie nerdery.

Anonymous said...

Looked like great fun!

Somehow reminded me of a cross-stitched sign in my doctor's office many years ago. It hung over the scale in his office - you know, the first stop you make with normally worse things to follow? The sign simply said, "An apple a day won't do it". :-)

Dad said...

Sorry - that anonymous comment was me. Just too trigger happy on the keyboard :-)