The Big Apple

Remember last week when I said I needed an escape? Well, I managed to sneak out of the city just long enough to clear my head and remember there’s a world outside Manhattan. After months without leaving the island, apple-picking during the peak of fall seemed just the thing to do.

The first time I ever picked anything straight from the source was in Germany, where I picked strawberries from a friend’s nearby berry patch. I felt such a childlike sense of accomplishment at being able to do something as simple and natural as picking something from the earth and eating it an hour later. This visit to the farm felt just as illuminating, with thoughts like ‘wow, apples really do grow on trees” popping up in my mind as we strolled down the aisles of lush trees. I think it’s wonderful for local farmers to open up their businesses and allow the public to see firsthand how important the connection is between what we eat and where it comes from. Not only is it eye-opening, but so much fun!

More delightful than the simple joy of apple-picking, was the overwhelming beauty of the scenery, the real reason we were there. The drive to Pennings Farm was breathtaking, with painterly hues sweeping past as we drove and wide vistas overtaking us around corners. Wide open spaces that others take for granted thrilled us with their endlessness and the mundane quiet soothed the chaotic grating to which we’ve grown accustomed. I hadn’t really even noticed that the leaves had turned yet since we don’t have as many around. What a lovely reminder it was to see fall in full regalia.

Now, back to the apples. As we were getting ready to leave Sunday morning, I kept enticing Rob with all of the delicious apple treats that we would find at the farm. In jest, I said, “we’re gonna eat apple cider donuts, apple crumble, apple crisp, apple pie, apple butter, apple bread….” I tried to come up with as many apple treats I could think of, sounding like Bubba from Forrest Gump (if you don’t get the reference, stop reading right now, and go watch that movie!).

Well, once we got to the farm and breezed through the adjacent farmer’s market and brewery, inhaling the intoxicating scent of cinnamon and hot cider, ┬áit was clear that there are a thousand different and enticing ways you can eat an apple. I’m only disappointed that I could only stomach ONE cider apple donut and a hard cider! I had lofty goals, though I did make it home with a jar of apple butter made on the farm and a quart of hard pumpkin cider. The perfect pre-Halloween brew. Trick or treat:)