Sunday, September 10, 2006

Your tummy says howdy

When we lived in Virginia, we started going apple picking. Before then, we always assumed picking would require a ladder, but some orchards grow dwarf trees for the explicit purpose of casual picking. Back in Oregon, I was unsure where to go for apple picking. I knew many were grown in Hood River Valley, but couldn't say where to pick. Pick Your Own is a site that lists pick your own fruit locations around the country. Via the site I found the Kiyokawa Orchard, which has a bewildering array of apples from which to choose. This early in the season, they didn't have as many, but they did have the Sansa, which joins my short list of apple favorites (including the Fuji and the Honeycrisp.) We picked about 20 pounds in about 5 minutes.

What to do with so many? First thing was an apple pandowdy, so named for its frumpy look. I used the Baking Illustrated version, which goes light on the sugar, but is still quite tasty. It called for a mix of apples, Granny Smith to hold form and give texture and MacIntosh to turn into an apple sauce to nestle the Smiths. Oh so tasty. Next stop, the crisp. According to this book, all my oat-based crisps should really be called crumbles or grunts as they aren't crisp.

If you've not picked fruit, it is more fun than it sounds. I thought it sounded like labor before, but it is as easy as you want it to be. You take your time and enjoy the quiet of the farm. It's quite relaxing. And if you have kids, you get a bonus snack time for them. You have to take that when you can get it.

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