Apples on a Beautiful Day

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Yesterday was a stunner. Clouds skimming the horizon in the golden light of fall. A warm breeze. Warm but not hot, cool but not cold. The day smelled of grass going to seed and leaves in the corners and apples. So we went to pick some of those apples.

Shelburne Orchards is the spot of choice to pick apples around here. It sits above Lake Champlain so picking apples means walking the rows of fruit trees with a stellar view. We, my daughter and a friend of hers and I, arrived early in the afternoon. The place was as busy as yellow jackets in a cider bucket. Kids, college students, families, older couples. Everybody in the county was represented. And they were all smiling and having a good time in the orchard.

We picked Cortland and MacIntosh. The picking was pretty good but finding the ripe ones was a challenge at times given the crowds that had been through. They have lots of trees, however, so we filled a bag and walked back through the orchard to pay. Of course, they don’t just sell apples, but apple and Vermont products of all sorts–cider (pasteurized and unpasteurized), pies, pre-picked apples (those all look pretty much perfect), maple syrup, and so on. We left the register with half a dozen cider donuts and some cold cider settled on top of our bag of fruit.

We were not ready to leave just yet, however. The girls were hoping for caramel apples but that was a no go–they were not on offer. Instead, we got in line at the Betty Bar. There they served up Betty Cones–waffle cones with vanilla ice cream and warm apple betty layered inside. That was surely the treat to start off autumn. We left with full bellies and enough apples to eat straight up, to cook into jam, and maybe even to make a pie.

There will be apples to pick for a while yet. One pie won’t be enough so I will have to head back, maybe in October for some different varieties. At this point I will even dare to wish for another perfect day.

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