The fall is my favorite time of year... There's nothing like the crisp breeze or the sound of leaves crunching underfoot during a run.... The trees as they change color in the later rising (and earlier setting) sun. Perfection, seasonally speaking.
Days like today... I got up while the sun was still sleeping for a short, two mile run. After we had breakfast as a family and Peter went to work, we spent the morning playing outside in the cool October morning (interupted by Super Why! and homeschooling, of course) before the kids had their lunch and (are now) napping. As we were noshing in the afternoon, my eyes kept drifting to the apple bowl that I'd taken our lunch apple from. My muse for the day...
We are fortunate that our town does a Farmer's Market on Saturdays, late spring through early autumn. Local vendors with local produce and organic, free range meats. People who are excited about food and who love growing it and taking care of it as much of it as I do (not to mention as much as I love eating it!). My current fave of the day: locally made granola topped with raw goat's milk yogurt. But there's apples galore in this area (and some of them are at the Farmer's Market!) This week, our house has had about 8 pounds of apples in it (we're down to about 2 pounds). I've made french toast topped with fried apples, whole wheat apple cake (with baked apples topping) Irish oatmeal with apples and currants (which leftovers made for a delicious apple oatmeal cake!), not to mention we just enjoy eating apples! Apple cider makes for a great glaze for my pumpkin cake (or a great beverage to sip on the porch!).
Apples are interesting... We have them out our fingertips locally (and, even if we didnt, we could easily get them from NY State (way more local than Washington State!) where apples are a huge agricultural staple). Yet, as Michael Pollan states in several of his books, apples are one of those things that we import from all over the world. It's a shame... Not to mention, because of transportation and non-organic farming practices, we're depleting their natural goodness of vitamins and minerals. But I digress... apples... local... great thing...
These apples... They're different than the ones I've had from the markets. The skin on these is so thin that it's like part of the apple itself. It peels away like a delicate tissue paper. And not just on one variety or from one orchard1 I've noticed that characteristic about all our local apples. And it melts in your mouth! The apples are so sweet or tart, and the flesh is the perfect mesh of soft and firm. LOVE THESE APPLES.
It's a shame fall doesnt last forever... We'd better get our fill of these delicious gems now since we wont have any that are nearly as good once autumn is over... Until next year!
For those who love apples as much as we do, might I suggest an ancient recipe for Apple Muse? It's a fun treat! (and relatively healthy too!)