Wanderlusting: Apple Picking Pandemic Style
“And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves.” ~
Adapting in Autumn
2020 has been a year y’all, and many of our plans have fallen by the way side. I admit part of the reason I had such a problem with summer ending was because, it was just so different, it didn’t feel like summer. Then of course there are the temps that I do not want to talk about. Now we are fully into autumn (clocks go back SUNDAY!) and plans I usually had like my annual trips to the Hudson Valley, where I would go pumpkin hunting, apple picking, corn maze walking and of course taking all the Pumpkin Spice Basic Girl pics, are not happening.
At least not like they use to. I have had to adapt. Which is not a bad thing, because life isn’t always easy peasy, something I think all of us have realized, if we hadn’t before all of this. Some of the ways I have adapted? Well, I bought a pumpkin and brought it with me to the ocean for my own photo shoots. No lie.
Like I said, I am not basic, but extra. Oh, so extra.
While things have changed, farms are still open. Actually aside, from hiking trails, and beaches farms are the next best place to entertain kiddos and social distance as they are outside. All the farms I have been to this fall, have had rules in place for social distancing and mask wearing. I am very happy to follow them, if it means I get to go apple picking and be well extra and take ALL the pics, which sometimes embarrasses my brother. And then afterwards, make yummy apple crisp and apple sauce. NOTHING beats homemade applesauce. Honestly nothing beats doing ALL the fall activities, let’s be honest.
Bright Eyed Early mornings
One of the keys to avoiding the crowds and being able to have some semblance of normalcy is doing activities first thing in the morning, which is what we have been doing with the kiddos. It is easier to social distance and we don’t have to worry about it being to busy. It wasn’t just an early morning, but also early in the season when we went to Pie Tree located in Sweden, Maine. I actually wrote about Pie Tree last year. it is owned by Stephen King’s family and is one of my favorite orchards, and last year I went not once, but TWICE! What can I say I love my apple picking?
Our Apple Picking adventure began bright an early with what else? But coffee! With the chilly temps having not warmed up, I needed that hand warmer as well as jolt of caffeine! We were in for a pleasant surprise though because when we arrived at the window in the Starbuck’s drive thru we discovered that someone had bought our coffee for us, so of course we paid it forward and bought the person behind us coffee. I love good deeds and I feel like it puts everyone in a good move. Right now especially we need all those positive vibes!
We were the first ones at the orchard. Their hours are limited as are the days they are open. Maine has a statewide mask mandate and you need one to enter the country store, and to check out, but in the orchards as long as no one is around you can take them off. Since we were the first ones there, it was not an issue. I bought the bags and off we went, I kinda felt a bit like Maria in the Sound of Music.
I usually go apple picking in the middle of October, so it was cool to see the different apples, some I had never even tried like the Ginger Gold, which were so pretty! Some of my favorites weren’t in season yet, but I was able to snag quite a few honey crisp.
We spent a couple hours at the orchard, filling our bags, watching the kiddos run around, taking pictures, and of course eating an apple or ten. After all an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Right? It was a fun morning, full of all the fall vibes.
When we got home, it was time to do something with the four pecks of apples we got. The kiddos were such good little chefs in training. They loved helping me peel and core the apples, as well as mix up the ingredients for the crisps and apple sauce. NOTHING beats home made apple sauce and I have shared my recipe (which you can make to your taste preferences) as well as the apple crisp which is gluten free, here.
We ended up making four apple crisps, one of which we had that night. The others we will save for the holidays. In a time when everything seems up ended, it was nice to not only do something normal, but also provide some normalcy for my nephews and niece in not only a safe way, but also a fun one.
Have you been apple picking? Have you done any fall traditions this year?