In September I visited a friend in Wellesley, Massachusetts and it made me nostalgic for New England. We went apple picking at an apple orchard in the nearby countryside with her three year-old son. Despite my age being approximately three decades greater than his, I think I was having more fun than him, at least until a man drove by with a bale of hay on a forklift.
It was the first time I had been apple picking in probably 20 years or more. One of my fond childhood memories of growing up in Connecticut is going apple picking with my mother and brother in the autumn. The “pick your own” farms are open to the public and usually the way it works is you prepay for a picking bag of a certain size, for example a bushel or a half-bushel or a peck or a half-peck (yes, these are real apple measurements).
Then you wander around the orchard at your own pace, picking the apples that take your fancy, and making sure to climb a few gnarly apple trees and horse around along the way. You’ll soon be weighed down with apples – a bushel of apples weighs around 48 pounds, and even a peck (four of which make a bushel) weighs 12 pounds.
After hauling them home, you next have to figure out what the hell to do with all those apples. Because it’s more apples than you would otherwise ever buy or consume. In my family, we would usually bake a couple apple pies and my mother would hollow out a few apples and fill them with brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins to make baked apples.
After doing this, we would still be left with more apples than we would otherwise ever consume. So we would proceed to make an insane quantity of applesauce and freeze some of it. If only we knew how to make candied apples. My friend in Massachusetts opted to make a superbly delicious apple crisp, and then left the rest of the apples uncooked for her husband and three boys gobble up.