If you live in the Midwest, you know that last week was the beginning of honeycrisp apple season. If you live anywhere else in the country, allow me to share a glimpse of what that means…
Local farms will advertise the day “u-pick” is available for whatever produce they have available. The farms post on their websites which variety of fruit or vegetables will be available, or you can sign up for email alerts. What is u-pick, my New York friends are asking? Well, it’s exactly that. You go to a farm and pick your own apples, blueberries, pumpkins – whatever is in season. It is so much fun my friends and family look forward to it all year. I was first introduced to apple picking soon after we moved to Ohio. My son’s kindergarten class went to a local orchard and for weeks following he ate apples with breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The next year we went as a family and have been doing so ever since. Lynd’s Farm has a corn maze, farm stand with fresh baked goods, and the best fruits and vegetables you can find. I think Autumn is the best time to go. That’s when they have hot apple cider and warm doughnuts.
Watch out Lauren, Judy’s on a mission – leave no apple behind!
Honeycrisp time is something completely different. We go to Lynd’s Fruit Farm every year. The picking is always on a Friday and the apples go fast. Some years they have been sold out by noon. My girlfriends and I have made honeycrisp picking a tradition for the past 3 or 4 years now. We get the kids off to school, designate a driver and off we go! The plan is to get to the farm before they open, wait on the car line that extends for miles, talk about which side of the orchard we should go to and how crazy we are for waiting to do this! Then for the next hour or so taste and pick the most deliciously juicy apples you can imagine and realize it was all worth it. With the first bite, you know why they are called honeycrisp. They are sweet with a hint of honey flavor, very crisp and juicy. What we always find amazing is that every tree yields a slightly different tasting apple. This year after each of us picking our 20+ pounds of apples, we dragged our bags to the car only to find the best tree when it was too late! Every year, we also learn something new from fellow apple pickers. One year we were impressed with the family who came with the wagon so you didn’t have to schlepp your apples around. The next year it was the woman with the step stool so she could reach the higher parts of the trees – genius! One of the best tips we got was from the women who had laundry baskets in their car. After picking, they put the plastic bags filled with apples in the basket so they won’t roll around in the car on the way home.
My friend Judy is the apple in the middle!
I’d like to tell you that there will be great recipes on my blog featuring them, but I’m not sure there will be! For one thing, I think they are too delicious eaten as is to do anything else with them. But who knows, I may change my mind. We met a woman who came with a wagon and picked about 60 pounds of apples! She was planning on making a lot of pies. I should have gotten a little friendlier with her!