Apple picking is a quintessential Northeastern Autumnal activity. It gets you out into the nature (because there are no orchards in the city), picking more apples than you will know what to do with, and it gives you plenty of time to squeeze in as many lurid jokes about your “apple bag” as you can before your group decides to abandon you in the parking lot.
We went to Boyer’s Orchard and Cider Mill in Monkton, VT to get bags full of apple bags (or to put it another way, we went swinging our heavy apple bags behind us) in order to make apple butter for family holiday gifts. Side note, if you think you have too many apples than you need to make a batch of apple butter, I can assure you, you don’t. We started with two crock pots filled to the top, lids barely able to close, and after cooking the apples down for two days or so our final product didn’t completely fill one of the crock pots.
I think we bought nearly 20 pounds of apples, I stopped counting, I was enjoying the process of picking apples, finding the best ones as high up the trees as I could find, and figured I would find a way to use all of it up. I don’t even like apples. I like apple by-products, but have never been able to just bite into an apple. Or an orange, a melon, a grape, a pear… it’s a problem, not one of my favorite problems either.
Apple butter cooked down, canned up, it landed in everyone’s holiday packages (Christmas was mailed in for everyone this year), and it was all devoured. The two jars we kept for ourselves as well, all eaten up. Next year? Apple crisp. I do love an apple crisp, and the further excuse to take in the time-honored apple picking outing, followed by a drive in the folliage-rich scenery of Vermont in late September, finished off with a maple creemee.