Apples, Donuts and Memories
Fall is my favorite season, if I haven’t mentioned that already. The air gets so crisp, the leaves start to turn, pumpkins start appearing on the porches and steps of all the local houses, apples are ready for picking, and everything just smells good. All of the best recipes start coming out about this time of year too. Crisps, pies, crumbles, soups, stews, quick breads, bars and all kinds of cookies start coming from kitchens and adding to the smell of fall. Out of all the possible ingredients to use in the fall, the apple is of course the most dependable and versatile. So many amazing recipes call into play the apple that to name them all would take forever – everything from apple sausage bakes to the ubiquitous apple pie find favor in our hearts and stomachs.
This weekend the weather turned fall. The season has arrived and that meant a few things.
One, we cleaned out the closet and dresser to put the summer clothes away (not too far in case we get an Indian summer) and brought out the jeans, sweaters, scarves, and fall jackets.
Two, on Saturday when it was rainy and cold, that signaled our pilgrimage to the Vermont Country Store over in Weston, Vermont. If you want to bring in the fall, this is the place to go on such a day. It was busy with locals and tourists all with sweaters, hats and boots – a perfect assembly of the seasonal clothing. The wood stove was giving off a warm comforting heat to take away the chill and the offering of hot apple cider and food samples was enough to keep everyone smiling as we nibbled and looked at the curious goods. The snack shack out back was serving up piping hot bowls of New England clam chowder served with a handful of Vermont crackers. Not that we needed it, but we bought a packet of maple Habanero dip, some handmade pumpkin fudge (YUM!) and a small paper bag of hand cut Vermont cheddar cheese.
Three, Sunday we really started off the season right by deciding to go apple picking! I have gone apple picking every single year since I was born.
It was a family tradition when I was little and I still continue this today. I haven’t missed a single season and I plan to keep it that way. There is just something about walking between all those apple trees and smelling the sweet warm apples that have dropped to the ground.
The whole orchards smells like apples, sunshine, and wet leaves. Those are the smells I look forward to each September. Picking the first apple is pretty special. You have to find the right one, polish it carefully and then take your first bite. To have some apple juice drip down your chin just makes it that much better.
After picking our apples we couldn’t end our day without taking part in one more tradition. Purchasing hot, right out of the fryer, apple cider donuts rolled in cinnamon and sugar!