Every year since Sidney was born we have gone apple picking. As the kids get older, the dynamic is beginning to change, ever so slightly. This year they each brought a friend. We go to an orchard that is beautifully kept, and allows you to climb the trees to pick apples.
The kids all climbed and picked for a few minutes, but then the girls either sat in the trees to chat or went off for a walk...as girls do. The boys stuck with us, and ate their way across the orchard. Before long, they all took off for the corn maize while we picked the apples, a bushel (about 40 pounds) worth. The price was reasonable, or at least in line with what you would pay for local/regional apples at the grocery store, and we got a couple of great baskets to boot. Always helpful with farm harvest.
In the afternoon while I ran Charles from soccer to boy scouts, B began working on the first batch of sauce and jelly. The absolute best thing that we did this year? We bought an apple peeler/corer/slicer. This simple kitchen tool allowed us to process the first half bushel in record time! As we ladled hot jelly and sauce into jars, we did something that we have never done before.....used every single mason jar in the house! This year we have not only utilized every mason jar that we have collected over the last seven years, but had to purchase about three dozen additional ones. That works out to be right at 175 jars of processed garden goodness! We have one last round to go, but as I just said, it looks like I will be buying a few more jars to finish.
With the changing dynamic of the apple picking the kids may not have picked a lot of apples with us, but they will reap the benefits.....their lunches today consisted of peanut butter and apple jelly sandwiches, and apple, and an apple streusel cookie!