Sunday, October 16, 2011

An apple a day

I remember when I was a kid, we knew just a few families who took their grocery shopping super seriously. They went so far as to hit the dairy for milk and the butcher at the meat market for the finest cuts. When I first got married, I used to shop at three different grocery stores, but more for economical than quality reasons. I could not let triple coupons go to waste, or frequent shopper cards go unswiped.

About a year ago, I realized my grocery list making plan was a bit flawed. I would look at the coupons, and add anything that looked yummy to the list. I probably still have things in the cupboard that were purchased under this system. The reality was that these were not the products we necessarily used. I also fell victim to the "$1 off 2" coupons. I was spending more money each week to save a couple of "extra" dollars. Now I make my list, with great assistance from the girl child, then see if I happen to have coupons for anything on it. I am not saying this is rocket science, but rather am admitting that I took the learning curve rather slowly.

I wonder how much further away from my original point I can stray...

In addition to being a Wegmans shopper, (what's good for Carol Baldwin is good for me) I also have some brand loyalty requirements. I am a Honey Maid graham cracker girl. Do not look at the price, just get me that navy value box (because I like them better than the red box variety). Do not try to pass off anything that is not a Thomas' English muffin as having the appropriate amount of nooks and crannies. I will eat store brand English muffins, but I will not enjoy them. I want Philly cream cheese, and yes, I CAN believe it's not butter. I recently decided that the savings on store brand chocolate chips is not worth messing with my cookies.

Oh, I think my point is coming into focus...

If you are going to offer me an apple, I am going to ask you what kind it is. Is this a regional thing (or a crazy lady thing)? There are not many varieties that I will turn down (sorry Golden Delicious and Macintosh that have been laying around for awhile). I think a lot of people think apples are apples, but this is not so. During this time of year, our family takes full advantage of the several varieties available to us here in Central New York. The are some kinds I only like to eat right off the tree. I only like to pick at one orchard near us because it is well managed. While they may only let you pick certain kinds of the fourteen varieties they have on certain days, you can be rest assured that the trees the tractor drops you off at will be fully loaded. (husband)

We picked three kinds today: Empires, Red Delicious (not my choice, but they were nearby), and Fujis. Delightful! It was a bit chilly out, which is perfect, as I have no interest in apple picking on an eighty degree day. Did I mention it was windy?
(Really? This is how I get captured?)

I already made applesauce twice this year with some Cortland apples from a neighbor's tree. I made another batch with Crispins...oh and another with a Jona Gold and Ida Red mix. Somebody last year told me that Mott's uses Ida Reds, so of course I had to try it (not that any jarred applesauce is a product I strive for). Oh, maybe it goes without saying that we don't buy a lot of applesauce anymore. My son uses it as a condiment or gravy substitute. There is no such thing as us having too much of it in our house. There are jars for holiday gift giving and flat storage bag squares in the freezer. Perhaps it will also come as no surprise that we went through over 150 pounds of apples during autumn, 2009. I used Northern Spys one year for sauce, and the finished product had a distinct pear taste. I like pears, but not when I am eating applesauce.

Please excuse the ramblings, as I am coming down from a sugar high that was induced by my eating an order of apple fritters with a fresh fudge chaser. Hmmm...maybe the fritter shack and the twelve fudge varieties have something else to do with my choice of orchards.

Now I am not going to tell you which apples are the best, as I recognize that it is a very personal choice. I am also not of the belief that there is one way to make an apple pie (as long as there isn't an excessive amount of nutmeg). Wanna be the apple of my eye and tell me your stand on apples? Please do! Shout out any regional favorites you have from where you live too!


  1. Apple snobbery is perfectly acceptable. Some varieties are just sub-par. When I was little, my grandmother would make me applesauce toast for breakfast. She would use homemade thick cut bread (sometimes with raisins and cinnamon) and top it with homemade applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Then she would pop it in the toaster oven until it crisped up the bottom and edges of the bread. IT.WAS.HEAVEN!

  2. We went apple picking recently too! I love apples and some are way better then others.

  3. I've learned there are just certain things that need to be bought brand name. I keep trying to convince my husband of this fact, but he is a hard sell.

  4. Why was I hearing Andy Rooney's voice as I was reading the post?

  5. One of the local universities here has an apple fest every year. We haven't been for awhile, but I am always amazed by the overwhelming variety of apples out there that you never see in the store.

    Regional: Ambrosias from the Okanagon

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  7. I'm with you, sistah. I'm loyal to my brands.

    I miss apple picking! I miss the doughnuts.

    My dad gave me a bushel of -- not sure what they were....galas? pink ladies? fuji? Anyway, I had so many that I decided to make a pie. Big mistake. They were MUCH too sweet. Blech.