Archive for September, 2008

Can we talk a little bit more about Vermont? Last weekend I found myself struggling with a few difficult decisions: Farmers Market, Organic Garden, or Apple Picking. You can see which one I chose…
Happy Valley Orchard
I’ve never eaten so many apples (and apple related things) in one day. It actually was a great learning experience! Apple tasting, you might say. I needed to know which were the best pie apples, eating apples, baking apples, etc..

Luckily, we had our local apple expert with us, Charlie Hofmann, pictured with the precious remaining ginger golds.
Happy Valley Orchard
For those who survive on Macintosh and Granny Smith apples, you’ve got something to learn. Ginger golds are possibly one of the best tasting apples ever. It’s texture is amazing – the skin isn’t too hard or too grainy and the flesh is juicy and sweet. Unfortunately for us, it was the tail end of Ginger Gold season. We picked the remaining gems from the trees and then searched amongst the fallen for still-good apples.

We snagged a few Golden Delicious as well.
Happy Valley Orchard
As James OB put it, (paraphrasing) Golden Delicious apples really know where it’s at. What other apple can live up to that name? The golden delicious were my favorite after the ginger golds. Also, I found out, they make good baking apples.

Most of our haul was made up of Empires.
Happy Valley Orchard

There was no shortage of Macs, certainly.
Happy Valley Orchard
However, our apple elitist attitude kept us from picking the most abundant apple. Actually, macs have a tendency to be mediocre. I spoke with the old ladies at the fruit stand though about pies (because old ladies at apple orchards make the best pie consultants) and was informed that the macs get nice and mushy inside pies, and that’s what “most people ’round here use”.

So we sent Sarah up into the tree to get the best ones she could find.
Happy Valley Orchard
The old ladies also said that if I wanted an apple that will hold its slices in pie, I should get some of the cortlands. I took their advice, but no picture. I prefer pie with apple slices in it. I really don’t like fruit pies with a lot of goo. This is why, when it came to making pies, I used primarily cortlands and no recipe with the word “cornstarch”. As a side note, I usually don’t like cherry pie because of this. Although I do love cherries.

Apple picking isn’t complete without at least 2 cider donuts each and sharing a quart of freshly pressed cider amongst the pumpkins.
Happy Valley Orchard

Pie apples: cortlands (for slices), macs (for mush)
Baking apples: cortlands, golden delicious
Snacking apples: ginger golds, empires, golden delicious


Read Full Post »

Back at school

I’m back at school. Very busy. I have a short backlog of posts. Let’s see how long it takes for me to get to them.

Read Full Post »