Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Beauty of Apples

Fall is full of simple beauties and pleasures and one of these great treasures is the humble but versatile apple. Apples invite us into a celebration of the senses through the many ways we can enjoy this seasonal treat.

A visit to the orchard in this season of harvest is an opportunity to slow down and enjoy a humble piece of fruit in a variety of ways. Stepping out of the car, we are instantly welcomed with the sweet and spicy aroma of cider, fresh donuts and fallen apples languishing on the ground. Eager anticipation flows through our minds as we approach the stacks of weathered bushel baskets waiting to be filled with red, gold and green jewels hanging on the trees in abundance.

Walking into the orchard with an empty basket swinging at our sides, the day is full of promise and excitement. We scan the rows for the varieties that welcome us like old friends or that call to us with the possibility of trying something new. Gala, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Asian Pear, Honey Crisp and Delicious – their names are familiar and we appreciate each one for the benefits they boast. Mouths start to water as we imagine the taste of a crisp apple straight from the tree and can list a host of recipes we want to enjoy with this basket of treasured fruit.

Imagination takes flight as we stand beside heavily laden trees looking for just the right apples to choose. Light filters through trees, the sky peeks through and there is beauty hanging on branches all around. Picking one with a leaf or two attached adds to the charm and we take a picture in our minds eye and maybe even with our cameras. Gently laying each sphere of fruit into the basket, we add layer upon layer until they are heaped up to the top. Can we fit another one in? This beautiful one we just can’t pass by?

Walking back toward the car is not quite as simple as when our baskets were empty. We are heavily laden now and the sun has inched higher in the sky. The smells in the air cause a rumble in our tummies and a little watering in our mouth for the delicious taste of a juicy, crisp apple. Or perhaps sipping a cider slushy and stopping by the window where a chalkboard boasts fresh apple cider donuts and we follow our nose toward this heavenly scent. Warm rings of fried dough dusted in cinnamon and sugar are ready and waiting for our enjoyment!

A picnic basket is brought from the car and alongside the edge of the orchard we find a table. Laying out a cloth and simple fare from home, we pull out fresh apples and prove once again that food eaten outside is a delight to our senses.

As we head home, the smells, tastes and sights of apples create a layer of memories that we carry with us into the days ahead. We will be back next year and this visit will fill our hearts and minds until then. We dream of the recipes waiting to be made from the bags of fruit we transport home. One of the comforts of Fall is a basket of apples waiting to be put to service in pies, crisps, sauces, butters, muffins and cakes. Jars stand at the ready for the abundance we hope to preserve for the year ahead and through it all, we are thankful for the simple pleasure of the apple.


Photos from our 2018 apple orchard visit - we are planning to go again next week!


Mom said...

Lovely! I have a basket of apples in my fridge right now that I brought home from apple picking with Carrie and family last week. And I'm looking forward to going apple picking with you next week! :)

becka said...

We drove up to NC for apples two weeks ago and were thankful to find there is an abundant crop this year. Our area of SC has had a lot of drought and most crops did not do well. We are moving to MI next summer so are trying to savor our last trips to the mountains.