There is little that smells more tantalizing than a good sniff of a fresh apple. Autumn is the perfect apple time of the year; and that is why, today, I took a ride to an orchard to buy Northern Spies and Empire apples, fresh from the people who grow them. One bushel of apples will supply my husband and me with an apple a day (to keep the doctor away!) to eat raw, a barrel of apples to make Apple Kuchen, applesauce, Apple Pie(s), baked apples…well, you get the picture.
From mid-October through the winter months, local orchards can supply not only the local grocery stores with the best apple product, but locals can visit these orchards and know that they are eating the best quality. Some time ago, my husband grew discontent with what one of the local large grocery stores had to offer. Each time he would shop for apples, he would check the country/state of origin. This store carried only apples from South Africa for many weeks running. Finally, he went to the manager and inquired why. The response was not satisfying: the supplier to his chain got the “best” price from South Africa. His “best-priced” apples had to travel 8,000 miles, rather than the grocer buying local apples from just down the road, literally 10-20 miles. Now I ask you: does that make any sense?
Tonight we are munching on Apple Kuchen, but my husband’s favorite treat is a warm apple pie with a little vanilla ice cream on top. Hmmmmm, I wonder what I will be baking tomorrow.
By Joy Healy