I’ve never been one to do the tourist thing. As much as I love to travel, to get out, to meet new people, to try new foods; I much prefer to do all of the above as if I were a local. I find it even more difficult to swallow when the tourist thing surrounds an activity so warmly familiar it seems routine. My children on the other hand find joyous fun in even the simplest Saturday afternoon outings. It’s with that in mind that I found myself this past Saturday frequenting an overly-crowded and even more overly-priced — albeit local — orchard and cider mill. And yes, I did have fun.
An apple a day. The claims to fame one small, round fruit can have will never cease to amaze me. Keeps the doctor away, the digestive tract moving, the weight off, the teacher feeling appreciated. The list goes on and on. The apple is the poster child for health, but what impresses me most about Mother Nature’s pet-project of the fruit world isn’t all the ails it can cure. Rather its never-ending adaptability in the kitchen will forever hold my attention captive.
A snack, a side dish, an accompaniment, a desert. A drink, a decoration, a marinade, an aroma. Apples rank among the most useful fruits in the kitchen. The possibilities they present are endless. Everyone seems to have their favorite method of preparation and as I got blissfully lost in the furthermost acres of an elaborate corn maze — caramel coated Gala Apple in hand — of this, I was reminded.
My daughters both love a baked apple, cored and stuffed with raisins and cinnamon, drizzled with honey; my husband a warm apple crisp with a dollop of vanilla ice cream; and me, I like them caramel coated and rolled in nuts. Of course you won’t find any of us turning down a warm mug of mulled cider, either.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy apples? Find an orchard near you and let us know what you did with the bounty you found there!