Click on image to see larger view of Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Empire, Northern Spy and Russet apples
Yesterday, the weather forecasters were mercifully wrong and it was a beautiful fall day with temperatures just under 20C. Today, however, the promised sunny and 30C arrived with a vengeance just in time for one of my friends and me to join the throngs at Chudleigh apple orchards (about an hour’s drive from here) to pick our own apples.
WHAT were we thinking?! Of course there would be zillions of people on Thanksgiving Monday!! But we thought we were being very clever. Both of us had had Thanksgiving dinners yesterday instead of today and imagined we would be virtually alone in the orchard – everyone else would be busy preparing and/or tucking in to their Thanksgiving dinners prepared on Thanksgiving itself. Ha. Silly us!
There were so many people that there was a police officer directing traffic in and out of the orchard parking lot with bumper to bumper cars on the highway in both directions!
We had fun anyway. We started by tasting the various apples that were ripe and then hopping a straw-baled wagon into the orchard. The wagon stopped at the various sections of the orchard and the driver would stand up to call out the names of the apples. And so we strolled in the blazing sun (every so often a most welcome light breeze ruffled our hair) up and down the lanes (???) of the orchard picking Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Empire, Northern Spy and Russet.
We were both quite disappointed in the Golden Delicious apples though. Golden Delicious apples were the reason we were going! But I’m guessing that was the reason EVERYONE was going. Many of the golden delicious trees were either stripped bare, or had one perfect looking apple hanging tantalizingly out of reach at the top, or were full of not quite ripe apples.
Luckily for us, there were lots of other kinds of apples were ripe and ready for picking.
We stopped half way through to have a picnic snack of walnut raisin crostini, made from my sourdough bread and goat cheese drizzled with herbed olive oil made with basil and oregano from our garden (remind me to tell you more about how to make this really great snack!) We washed it all down with cool and refreshing apple cider made by the orchard.
I bet you all know what I’ll be doing tomorrow! Apple pie! Apple sauce! Apple butter! Apple…
(I just hope the weather forecasters are right about the temperature dropping tomorrow!)