Thursday, 19 September 2013
Up up up! It's apple picking time!
We have this sweet book at home that the kids love; about driving to the country to visit their grandparents at their apple orchards. It's called Up, up, up! It's Apple-Picking Time. The book is beautifully illustrated and the inside cover has the names of all kinds of apple varieties (ever heard of winter banana??) We read it ALL year but it comes to life in September when we can actually go and pick apples, dramatically recreating the story and stuffing ourselves at Quinn Farm. Luckily, my parents are usually up for a family outing so they joined us on this sunny fabulous apple-picking excursion. As I often point out, these days are gold to me. My parents and my kids just adore each other and when we are out on the farm together my happiness just overflows. My parents used to take us and then we would roll out pies and make apple crisp. The house would fill with baking apple smells as the air turned cool and the smell of fall settled outside. I LOVE this time of year. Growing up in apple country was so delightful and I've always brought city friends out to enjoy the tradition. Nostalgia plays a big role in my happiness, can you tell?
Quinn Farm is perfect for this outing. The whole place has evolved over the summer, and it is more beautiful and family-friendly then ever. There are more staff, new signage, well-timed wagon hay rides, lots of baby animals, new landscaping, a new bakery silo where you can buy tickets (shorter lineup!) more activities for littles in the playbarn and tons of homemade baked goods in the bakery barn. I don't know how those folks find the time to keep it all running so expertly. Although I love to bake my own, we did end up buying a dutch apple pie, the classic pumpkin muffins and some mini pies that simply cannot be recreated at home: It's a whole apple, sliced and stacked, wrapped in perfect pastry and baked, then drizzled with a caramel sauce of some kind. It's insane. At home, we've made an apple-carrot loaf, baked apples and muffins. I haven't tackled my own pastry... yet!