It's apple-picking time! I am currently the proud owner of half a bushel of ida reds. They're in a giant plastic bag on my floor. I need to find some apple recipes pronto so I can use them up. We picked way too many for the two of us (they were hard to resist), so I've been handing them out at work and at French class, sharing the decadent bounty wherever I can.
We picked them on Sunday with my mom, at the Spring Meadows orchard in between Kingston and the ferry to Prince Edward County. It was 23 degrees, but felt like 30. Can you believe it? We're in early October! One of the farmers who worked there told us that the russets, northern spy, red delicious and ida reds are all in season right now. We chose to pick ida reds because they keep for a long time compared to the other varieties. And while some apples are better for eating than baking and vice versa, ida reds are a happy medium for both. Their taste is also the perfect compromise of sweetness and tartness. And they are smallish, so the perfect size for tucking into a pocket for a portable snack.
My mom told us something very poetic as we were driving out of the orchard: That the blooms of an apple tree are such a tender froth, and when set against the gnarled trunks they remind her of an old lady dressed up in wedding finery. My mom always has such a way with words!