apple orchard. In my memory, Mom would cram us (us being anyone in arms' reach) into the orange Oldsmobile or stack us into the minivan and we would drive to Kinderhook, NY.
The orchard we would go to allowed us not only to pick our own apples, but the trees were big enough that we could climb. And believe me, I was quite the tree climber as a kid. Height did not phase me. Bird nest, whatevs. Power lines, no biggie. My brother and I would scramble as high as we could, pick apples off the branches and toss them down to my mom. We would have picnics, gorge ourselves on fresh apple cider, and have rotten apple wars. The orchard we went to allowed dogs, and inevitably our silly mutt, Chemo the wonder pup, would run off and smash deer poop into her ears. Between that and the amount of cider we drank, it was often a bit of a stinky ride home.
However, once we got home it was apple recipes galore. Apple crisp, apple pie, apple sauce, and my fav, apple squares. I love everything about apple picking - the arrival of Autumn, cool air, blue skies, fallen leaves, laughter, family tradition. I love Autumn - I love jeans and long sleeve tees. I love the need for a sweatshirt in the morning. I love the smell of baking apples. And I am trying to impart this love to my little lady.
So, needless to say, I was thrilled to finally take my little Bean apple picking. The orchard we went to had gorgeous views of mountains, fresh apple cider donuts and pumpkins. The trees at the orchard were too small to climb, but that didn't deter us from having a blast. Addie plucked apples off the trees and chucked them into our bag - resulting in tons of bruised apples. The few apples that weren't bruised? Those were licked or bitten into courtesy of our little harvester.
She ran the rows of trees. She scarfed down a cider donut. She picked out a 'mama' and a 'baby' pumpkin. She watched cider ferment. And she, like me, loved it all.