It's not really fall until we have twelve pounds of freshly-picked apples in the kitchen. We took advantage of a beautiful Sunday afternoon and went with my parents down to Sponsel's Apple Orchard near Jordan, MN. I think we could have arrived first thing in the morning and spent the whole day! The boys loved climbing on the huge hay pile, feeding goats and sheep, pony rides, wagon rides, digging in the dirt and, of course, the apples. Picking apples, eating apples, juggling apples, eating apples, throwing apples (only the bad ones, mind you, and not at anyone...), eating apples. We paid for one peck (12 pounds), but I have a feeling we ate at least half as many as we put in the bag.
My mom and I took turns being on quality control, only letting the most perfect apples into the bag. If it was really bad, it ended up on the ground, but if it was only slightly bruised, it became a munching apple. Max and Lucian proudly picked several apples of their very own, learning (for the most part) to check for imperfections. Max came to me at one point, bearing an apple with broken brown skin on one side, and said "This apple shines as beautifully as a diamond, mom!" I didn't have the heart to turn him away, so I let it pass inspection, then waited til he wasn't looking to chuck it into the trees.
Megan and I are planning out how we will use our booty, and the list so far includes apple pie, crock pot applesauce, caramel apples and Maureen's upside-down apple dessert (I don't know what she calls it, but it sounded amazing. I'll let you know.) I intend to be firmly appled-out by the first snowfall. Who's with me?