Eating Apple Cider

by ....RaeDi


I cannot believe that autumn is essentially here.  I notice it mostly in the morning when I get up.  You can feel the chill in the air.  There is a thin layer of fog as I look out my window.  Over the Sound, the fog is dense, and you can hear the foghorns from all the boats of varying size on the Puget Sound.  It is a very heavy trafficked area with the cargo ships coming and going from the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma.  Add to that all the fishing and pleasure boats of varying sizes.  We also have the ferryboats from several different areas all coming and going from very early in the morning until very late at night.  A few nights ago I noticed when I had to get up in the middle of the night that I could really hear the foghorns, I looked out and we were under with a very thick fog.  I knew there were some cargo ships waiting to dock in the ports… some coming from great distances.

With fall comes harvest time.  Tom picked the apples from our trees the other day.  We each had one when he took a break.  They were so crisp and luscious.  The taste reminded me of a delicious apple cider… they were like I was eating a cider drink.  I know you do not eat apple cider, but the test was so similar to apple cider that you felt you were sipping and not chewing.  As a child, I loved to have heated apple cider with a cinnamon stick so too my children loved theirs the same.

As I took a break at the garden table a dragon-fly came by to see me, it stayed on my arm for a while… it looks like it has a smile on its face!

It takes me back to when we first moved to Washington.  It had been a long two weeks on the road from Yorktown VA to Puget Sound, Washington.  The afternoon we arrived, we found out that school was starting the next day.  You do not know how this Mother felt to know that the children would be in school all day long, especially after that long journey all cramped in a vehicle and with our little sheltie dog, Mini Molly Moo Wigglesworth, our miniature Lassie look-a-like.  She was the least of our troubles.

That first week in school here was heaven-sent.  Busy with getting things in order, such as where we would live and hoping that our household goods would arrive on the date given.  All the paper work sent home from school with the children took hours to fill out, and then there were the school trips sent for parents to give permission for your child to go on.  Their very first field trip here in Washington was to “Scandia Pumpkin Farm.”

This pumpkin farm had been in business for generations I was told.  The elderly farmer and his ancestors had all grown pumpkins on this very farm.  Each year they invited the children from the local schools to come and pick out a pumpkin in the special pumpkin patch that they had grown just for that purpose.  Each child once they had picked the pumpkin they wanted paid one quarter for it.  After choosing the pumpkin and paying the elderly pumpkin farmer poured each a cup of hot apple cider.    All the children loved their hot apple cider and were happy with the pumpkin they had found in the pumpkin patch.   This one was always a chosen field trip for me being a room mother; I always enjoyed it as much as the children.

Eating the apple the other day while sitting under the Apple tree brought back so many memories from my childhood to my children’s childhood.  We had trips similar to this when we lived in Connecticut.

We still have a few plums to pick, I had one and it was simple wonderful.  The blackberry season has now ended.  And I feel so blessed, with so many blackberries that I was able to make vinegar, syrup, tarts and froze enough to get some preserves and other things in the future.  Tom actually made a blackberry cobbler with wheat germ the other evening it was large enough for two small portions of the wonderful tastes that come with harvest time.

Then it decided to take a sun break on one of the apples, blending right in!

The apples will bring us some of our favorites… apple butter, apple sauce, pies, tarts, bread, muffins, or a wonderful tarte tatin, there are so many more uses that I can think of for these wonderful apples.

The leaves are all about to change and what breathtaking beauty they will bring along with all the wonderful flavors that come each fall.   Each is a treasure to me since childhood.

It sure is nice to be able to have the freshness of fall at your backdoor.  I would share with all of you if you did not live across the pond so to speak.  I hope that each of you have a wonderful, colorful fall and a bountiful harvest of wonderful tastes, friends, and love too….