New England 2011: apples and more apples

Fall has arrived in these green hills – the leaves are turning and even though the days lately have been global warming humid, it would never really feel like summer to a local. The mellow golden sunsets of August have absolutely given way to cold nights and I have been watching the twilight creeping earlier and earlier each day.

Some people dread the winter – not me. Really I’d take the northeast USA in all her seasons and have a place in my heart for all the rituals and happenings of each one but there’s something magical about September and October.

Doesn’t hurt my favorite color is orange or that I love apple picking. Doesn’t hurt that as the child of people who worked for colleges and schools all my growing up life, that the year never seems to start for me in January but right after Labor Day. And don’t get me started on Halloween… promise to cover that soon.

In grade school, every year we’d go on this apple picking, apple cider making day – like a rite of passage for a true Yankee child. We’d all head out up in the big old yellow school bus in the freezing morning and spend the day at the orchard with the excitement of rickety ladders and weird claw like things with baskets. Once started, we’d pick our little six year old hearts out and have some crazy apple fights (think apple swapped in for a snow ball kind of fight). That only went on until someone got a black eye or cried (most likely me – not the black eye, although am a clumsy accident prone kind of gal but probably the crying ’cause, well, I was a wimpy kid at times – nothing like a virtual confession).

The best part of the day was taking our haul over to someone’s parents house where we’d press the apples into cider on a press from 1735 (not really, but I have a feeling these were Mayflower Society folks – real deal old New England) – the thrill of turning the giant wooden screw and watching the juice get squeezed out, being beset the whole time by the drowsy bees who are just trying to get the honey in before it snows. I’d arrive home, sunburned, sticky and happy. And my poor family would have to eat an apple or 20 a day for weeks and weeks.

By the time I was twelve, I’d made apple cake, pie, sauce, butter, doughnuts  and these weird and creepy apple headed dolls that would whither and get more creepy and weird until my father would demand they be thrown away.

So…. that’s my first “cow” post – I do promise when I board a plane for more exciting shores that I’ll write about that – in the meantime, eat an apple in my honor…. soon I’ll learn how to post pictures too.

Happy Fall friends.

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