Tuesday, October 1, 2013

sunday funday: apple season

We had amazing weather on Sunday, and local apples were ripe for picking, which meant an afternoon spent at the apple orchard - after we stuffed ourselves silly on some amazing wings (priorities, you know). Ashley and I headed to an orchard in one of the city's northern neighboring counties, and it looked like everyone else had the same idea. We got to the orchard and waited in a line of cars until we were directed to a place to park. There were lines of people everywhere - a line to get into the market, a line of people waiting to hop on the wagon for a ride to the orchard and a line of people with full bags of apples waiting to pay. Not one to waste time standing in lines and not wanting to waste such a nice afternoon, I almost suggested we ditch the idea and find something else to do. I'm glad we stuck to our plans, because it ended up being a great afternoon.

I was really hoping to load up on honeycrisp apples, but the biggest part of the orchard open for picking that afternoon was full of piƱata apples. We were told they're a newer variety, really sweet and great for baking or eating. We had fun climbing the ladders to get the apples from the tops of the trees and filled our bags up pretty quickly. Ashley ended up with 11.5 pounds of apples and I think I left with somewhere around 18 pounds. He's looking forward to brewing another apple beer, and of course I want mine for baking (first, apple sauce!). And we may or may not have snuck around to one of the unopened rows and picked a few contraband apples.

As we were walking back to the car and stuffing our faces with fresh apple cider donuts (is there anything better than a warm apple cider donut sprinkled with sugar?), we saw two hot air balloons on the horizon. Well, what else are you going to do on a late Sunday afternoon other than chase them down? Off we went! We wound our way through back roads and neighborhoods until we spotted the chase vans and were close to the balloons. It was so cool! You could see the flames at the base of the balloon and make out the shape of a few people in the basket. They must have had an amazing view from all the way up there!

If I keep up the baking frenzy, maybe we'll make it back to the orchard another time or two before the season's over.

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