Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting Picky About Apples

It's no secret that Jonah loves apples. I strongly believe that the kid would live off of apples if we let him. Early in the fall, the farmer whom we get most of our produce from, had honey crisp apples. "Bopple! Bopple bopple!" Jonah waved his arms, trying to grasp at the fruit on the table. Of course when my child is begging for a healthy item and viewing it as the ultimate treat, I don't say no. We bought the apples, which were as big as his head, and went home to enjoy.

Ever since we went blueberry picking, Jonah has become obsessed with picking things growing on trees and bushes. It has taken a lot of vigilance and teaching to make sure he does not eat anything he sees growing. His favorite outside activity is to pick crab apples. So, as one of our last family outings in the northwest Ohio area, we took the kids apple picking.

We prepped Jonah for this outing by getting a book about apple picking from the library, written by Gail Saunders-Smith called Picking Apples. The book was very simple, and had nice pictures showing how apples get from orchards to our grocery store. Jonah enjoyed this book so much that he would pretend to read it, pointing to the pictures and labeling the items.

We chose to go to Erie Orchards, the same farm where we picked blueberries. We chose to go here because the blueberries were priced fairly cheaply, so we thought the same would be true for the apples, and they were also having a festival that weekend with bounce houses, a hayride, and ponies. We were quite disappointed with the prices once we got there. The apples were three times the amount I would have spent at other farms I know of. And when we got in line to buy tickets for the hayride, we found that the tickets were $7 each. All of the activities cost at least one ticket, the same as a fair. $7 per person for a hayride seemed like a bit much. I think it was the first time I've ever looked at Jonah when he was really excited about doing something, and told him "no." I guess he should get used to it though, because we are not always going to get to do everything that he wants to do.

We moved on to the apple picking. Picking the apples proved to be a bit more tough then Jonah cared for. He did not want to pull hard enough to get the apples off. He would give just a small tug, and then give up. It surprisingly took a lot of coaxing to get him to actually get the apple off of the tree

 But, he still had fun, walking through the tress, talking about the "bopples."
 We picked a bushel and a half. 1/2 was granny smith and a couple other sour varieties, which I will use for caramel apples and stuffed apples. 1/2 was northern spy variety for making baked cinnamon apples and then freezing, and a few other baked goods. and the third 1/2 bushel was a mix of red and golden delicious for apple sauce.

Of course, not all of the apples made it past the parking lot.

We went to the farm shop on the way out, and spent the money we would have spent on the overpriced activities, on homemade donuts and apple cider. I recommend going to Erie Orchards for these items alone. The cider was sweet, not bitter like other ciders I've had. It was perfect for heating up with cinnamon and drinking hot. The donuts came in pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon-sugar. They were pure bliss. We got a half dozen of each, and then splurged on three apple fritters. Jonah did not seem to mind not going on the hayride or bounce house once we treated him to these tasty morsels. I don't remember the prices on these sweet treats, but I do remember thinking it was very reasonable. It was definitely a perfect way to end the outing, and close a beautiful fall day with the family. Nothing can beat the taste of cinnamon on your tongue and the smell of apples and hay in the air.

1 comment:

  1. so you know you are more than welcome to come down here ANYTIME. Hershbergers truck patch down by john's parents has a petting zoo that you can do for the cost of a couple cones of feed- depending on how hungry they are- it's like a $1 a cone- we got our pumpkins there and they pull you by horse drawn wagon out to the feild- it is cool- They also offer other wagon/buggy rides those are like 5 a person I think- and they have ponies you can ride.

    Next year I will also let you know when we go to ramseyers- we ussually go with our church so group price is 5 otherwise it's 7- it's a potato farm with pumpkin patch and corn maze. they have two mazes we still haven't done- and then corn bin slides and corn to play in- big sling shots with little potatoes- and just lots of random stuff. it is a fun time and you can pack your lunch and then "snack" on fries or lerches fresh made donuts- it is good time. noah has been begging to go back :)