I woke up the other day to a temperature of 55 degrees with a high for the day of 70. I have been trying to be in denial, but it looks like fall is creeping in. I look at the calendar and see that summer is just ticking away. Pretty soon I will be seeing kids at the bus stop, leaves changing colors, and the need to throw on a sweatshirt before stepping outside.
It seems that summer is never quite long enough. But even as I say goodbye to picking berries each morning, there is a part of me that is very eager for fall for one big reason…apples!
I do not have any apple trees. I have not even attempted apple trees. I will admit, part of it is because they intimidate me. A big part of it, though, is the experience of going to an apple orchard.
I grew up going to the apple orchard every year with my family. It was a big event. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins would all join in the fun. We would pick apples, watch them press cider, eat treats, pet animals, and just have a day to never forget.
I carried on that tradition with my own girls. I have taken many pictures over the years of them at the apple orchard. Not only would we pick apples, but there would also be the fun of a hay ride, a small petting zoo, a pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect jack-o-lantern, and fresh apple cider donuts.
We would tote home our bags of apples and plan our baking for the next few weeks. We had apple coffee cake, apple pies, caramel apples, and so much more. And just when we were about to be all appled out (it really is a thing), we would make the rest into apple sauce to be canned and enjoyed all winter long.
Many times over the years, I thought about starting a few apple trees. I could then have apples right in my own backyard to enjoy whenever I wanted. But I could never follow through. For me, part of the fun of fall is a visit to the apple orchard. My girls are all grown now, but they still enjoy going every year. They may not care so much about the petting zoo or hayride, but none of us have gotten over our love of a warm apple cider donut with an apple soda.
This is a tradition that I am so happy to see live on. I hope it continues for many more years. It may be some time away, but, in the future, I see a glimmer of grandkids and a renewed interest in the hayrides and petting zoo. Until then, it is almost time to dust off all of my fall recipes.
As sad as I am to see summer start to fade away, my excitement is building for apples!