Why Apple Picking Makes the Best Fall Date

Last weekend, Mc and I went apple and pumpkin picking at a local farm, and it was just lovely. I must shamefully admit that, in spite of having lived in Western New York for most of my life, I’ve never been apple picking before. It took moving to MA for me to try it. I was really, really missing out.

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Maybe it’s because Mc’s Irish luck worked for us once again and the weather was perfect for a leisurely afternoon spent walking outdoors, or maybe it’s because we shared the date with another couple whose company we really enjoy—or maybe a hundred other reasons—but it was just a memorably great day. The orchard let us eat apples as we went about filling our bag (free food!) and by the time we were done my hands were apple-juice sticky and my stomach pleasantly full of sweet, fresh-from-the-tree Honeycrisp, Gala, Mutsu, McIntosh, Macoun, and more.

The absolute best part about apple-picking is that it manages the seemingly-impossible combination of having a great date and saving money on super delicious food. Mc and I took home 20 lbs of ripe, organic apples for only $30.00. That’s $1.50/lb, which is certainly less than Wegmans is currently charging for the good stuff (read: not the giant bags of flavorless Empire apples). We had so many apples, we had to rearrange our refrigerator contents to make room. And we got 2 excellent Halloween carving pumpkins for the small party we’re hosting later this month. I can’t wait for baked & salted pumpkin seeds. Bonus!

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Obviously, given the superior price, superior taste and quality, and vastly added enjoyment of fresh apple picking, we’ll be hand-picking from the farm until the season ends. Good apples can keep for a month or so in the fridge, and in the meantime, I’m going to:

  • continue experimenting with my homemade applesauce recipe (to be shared once I have it perfect!)
  • make an apple pie from scratch, including the crust
  • eat apple oatmeal with extra apple chunks every weekend
  • make a Winter Coleslaw based on this recipe
  • eat an apple a day on my balcony while reading

I may even work up the courage to try canning, should we still have a bunch leftover as these start to go bad. Canning is something I definitely want to master in the next year.

Any suggestions for other (mostly healthy!) apple-based recipes I could try? Do you know any fun and thrifty ways to combine dating and saving money? Please comment and tell me about them.

And seriously, folks. There’s no excuse for living in the Northeast and not trying apple picking. Just do it.

What I learned writing this post: I always want to mistype pumpkin as pumpking. Hm. 

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