On Friday, my husband suggested we get up early Saturday morning to go apple picking as a family. I loved the idea because I always jump at the chance to partake in some Fall-like activity (hayrides, pumpkin patches, festivals, etc.) What made this suggestion even better, was that Biz e-Dad already had the place picked out, the weather had been cooling down this week to set the mood, and the plan was in place. I just had to show up. What more could a busy mom hope for?
Saturday morning rolled around and the kids and I got up first. Because Biz e-Dad had worked late the night before, I thought I’d let him sleep in as long as possible. The plan was to leave by 10:30 a.m.
At 11:30 a.m., we finally pulled out of the driveway. Since Biz e-Baby2 usually naps at 10 a.m., he was overdue and I figured would catch a little disco-nap in the car. Biz e-Baby1 is usually good until about 1:00 p.m. before she turns into Sybil. Off we went. The drive was to be 30 minutes.
Biz e-Dad and I decided to drive separate cars part of the way . The plan was to park his car at our restaurant, World Café, since he had to be at work by 3:00 p.m. and it was close to the apple farm. That way, he wouldn’t have to drive all the way home and then back track. (Still following this?)
Biz e-Baby2 napped about 10 minutes before we arrived at World Café. Typically, both my kids sleep like champs in the car—but only as long as it’s moving. So, of course, once I got off the exit ramp to let Biz e-Dad park his car, Biz e-Baby2 woke up. So much for that nap. Biz e-Baby1 was still fighting sleep. It was past lunch time by now so both kids were getting hungry. So as not to lose any more time, my husband had brought some quesadillas and chicken from the restaurant for the kids’ lunch as we drove the rest of the way. We decided it would be best if he sat in the back with them to feed the hungry little birds and I would chauffeur. True to form, Biz e-Baby1 wouldn’t eat. I have one very picky eater and one very good eater. Guess which is which?
We arrived at the U-pick farm about 12:45 p.m. Between Biz e-Dad and me, we managed to get the camera, diaper bag, his wallet and two water bottles. We were given our half-bushel bag and now the real fun was about to begin!
The orchard had several types of apples: Winesap, red and yellow Delicious and Jonathon apples. All were located in different areas, so we thought we’d park the car (sort of in the center of it all) and just walk in different directions to pick a variety. About 2 minutes out of the car, Biz e-Baby2 tripped over a large weed and got his hands and pants dirty. He was heartbroken. Biz e-Dad and Biz e-Baby1 had run ahead so I decided it would be best to carry him. My 17-month old now weighs 25 pounds so that was not an easy walk. Once we got our family together in one spot the picking part was fun. I, of course, had explained the “rule” of apple picking is that you don’t pick up the smushed ones from the ground and eat them. Surprisingly, the kids did as they were told! Lesson learned. I showed my daughter how to twist the stem to get the apples off the branches. She then did it on her own. My husband lifted our son up so he could pick a few apples from higher up and everything was generally going well.
The afternoon sun was beating down on us all hard and after about 15 minutes you could tell Biz e-Baby1 and 2 were tiring. Our son would run, trip and fall about every two point five minutes. Our daughter would pull an apple so hard it would knock her off balance and then she’d whine. Both of their cheeks were getting flushed fast from the heat (not sure where the heat came from but it was in the 80s). The farm had other crops and uneven ground to boot so it was difficult for them to walk without some obstacle in their path. That meant that they fell often. I got frustrated. That meant we carried them. Biz e-Dad kept saying “Let them be wild.” Which I think in English meant “Let them be free.” But, in either case, he speaks Polish and I felt like he was comparing my kids to wild buffalo or something, wandering across The Great Plains.
With only half of our half-bushel bag full, we decided to call the game. It was sort of a waste but they just weren’t feeling the joy of the season any longer and, quite frankly, my jeans were so hot and sweaty on my legs they were inching down off my hips and about to creep closer to my butt-crack with every step I took.
We paid for the apples (more than we should have because we didn’t fill our bag) while Biz e-Babies–now so sleep deprived– were running about the farm’s general store pushing miniature shopping carts and screaming. They say one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. We had two bad apples on our hands at that point. That made me flustered and hotter. The Biz e-Family circus piled back into the steamy car. Windows rolled down STAT. It was over.
It’s funny how something that we thought would be this great experience for our kids, could be over so quick. I mean, I think they enjoyed it. But, the logistics and planning to pull the whole thing off was quadruple the amount of time the actual event itself took.
We got some pictures. Those will be fun to look back on some day.
I just wonder, is that how it was when we were growing up? Did the things that I remember as being so great or so grand in my mind, really only last for a short time? Were they that simple?
I came to two conclusions. First, we are not going to Disney World until the kids are old enough to stay awake more than 3 consecutive hours. Second, we have “half of a half-bushel” now of apples eat.
APPLE CHIPS RECIPE
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F
Use a non-stick cookie sheet
Take apple (any variety) cut it from top to bottom in thin slices. Repeat until you have covered the cookie sheet. The apples can be close together because they will shrink in the oven.
Take 1.5 tbsp of sugar and spread evenly over the apple slices
Sprinkle cinnamon over the apple slices (as much as you want—I do it sparingly)
Put cookie sheet of apple slices in the lower level of the oven rack
Cook for 2 hours
Remove cooked apple chips and use a spatula to pick them up and move them to a plate to cool.
Once cool, promptly put them in a plastic container to keep fresh.
These are a healthy snack for the whole family!
- apples, and raspberries, and pumpkins . . . (cathweber.blogspot.com)
- Gear up for autumn: apple picking, fall leaves and more (timeoutny.com)
- Fall apples and crisp recipe (nowpublic.com)
- An Apple a Day (lifescript.com)
- Blackberry Picking (greenstylemom.blogspot.com)