By Jack Canter
Fall is finally here! There is a chill in the air, the leaves are changing, and Halloween has just passed, which means it’s an amazing time to go apple picking. If you have never been apple picking, you’re missing out–an apple picked off the tree tastes a hundred times better than any apple you will find in a supermarket, in my opinion. For me, apple picking is a family tradition and one of my family’s favorite days of the year. We always go hungry, and as we pick our apples and fill our bags, I often eat two or three while I walk among the trees. I pick an apple, I shine it on my fleece to clean it, and then take big crunchy bites while the juice runs down my chin. My favorite types include Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Macintosh. When the bags are full and my family has found all the best apples, it’s time to warm up and escape the fall breeze. Inside the farmhouse, the smell of apple cider donuts and the warm cups of apple cider instantly fill my nostrils. When I take that first sip of apple cider, it is so perfectly warm that I feel the heat go into my belly and down into my toes. As I hold the cup, I feel my fingertips warm up. My family gets a dozen fresh apple cider donuts covered in sugar and cinnamon and the race is on; We devour all of them within five minutes, as they are the perfect snack.
When we get home, we immediately start thinking about the best dessert to make. We used to make an apple pie that was loaded with tons of big apple slices and stood 6 to 8 inches high. When it came out of the oven piping hot, we put large scoops of vanilla ice cream on each of our slices. There was nothing better than that–well, maybe there is one thing better. In recent years, we started making a toasty apple crisp with our apples that includes flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon mixed up with melted butter. If you want to be extra fancy, you can add salted caramel ice cream on top of the apple crisp. It gets so crunchy that it’s even better than apple pie. Normally, we make such a large tray that after dessert, there is still more than half left over, and we leave the rest on our stove. While my dad always thinks there is some left by morning, somehow it always disappears as my siblings take extra helpings around midnight. It always surprises me how we can go through thirty apples in just a weekend. We always say we are never going to eat an apple again after eating so many, yet we always can’t wait to go apple picking again next year.
My brother Lucas, a tenth grader at Byram Hills High School, told me his stance on our apple crisp: “Apple crisp is so juicy and crunchy at the same time; it’s the perfect combination.” He even added that “when you get that bite of warm apples, crispy oats, and cold salted caramel ice cream, it’s pure heaven.” My dad usually eats two or three servings of apple crisp and likes to joke “I’m just eating apples, it’s like being on a diet.” Finally, Gavin Jakubek, a tenth grader at Byram Hills High School, says “apple crisp always hits the spot no matter what.”
For those who are wondering, my favorite apple picking places are Stuart’s Farm, Salinger’s Orchard, and Apple Dave’s Orchards.