Let me count the ways:

  1. the start of school makes me giddy (sorry kids, but you know you love it too)
  2. being outside without sweating or shivering
  3. can you think of a better time to be a knitter?
  4. hot tea
  5. fall foliage
  6. sweaters
  7. curling up under a quilt (to knit a sweater, while drinking hot tea)
  8. apples (apple picking, apple cider, apple butter, apple crisp, apple pie, etc.)

A couple weeks ago, we made our annual apple picking foray with friends. It is not the cheapest Saturday folly, but it is truly fun for the whole family.

Sarah was downright giddy as she walked among the trees, yelling “apple” at every turn.

She seemed to enjoy the tasting portion of the day, too.

The big kids enjoyed searching the trees for the best looking Honeycrisps.

Brad was a few rows over filling a bag with Haralsons.

Honeycrisps for eating. Haralsons for baking and apple butter.

Brad spent quality time with the Haralsons while watching the debate last night. (I was too busy trying to get Sarah to sleep while simultaneously swearing at the t.v.) He cored, peeled and quartered about half of what we brought home. The apples went into a pot and onto the stove for a few hours to end up as apple butter. Brad canned 3 pints and 1 pint went straight into the fridge for (almost) immediate consumption. You’ve got to love a man that cans!

We’ve been making apple butter each fall for the past 10 years. The smell of apples simmering with cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom and nutmeg may surpass the smell of fresh baked bread in my book. You can argue with me on that point, but you definitely can’t go wrong with a combination of the two!

A few years ago we earned quite a reputation with regard to our apple butter consumption. We had spent the weekend with a group of friends and cooked apple butter over an open fire in a huge cooper pot. It was a friend’s family tradition and a glorious one, at that. A beautiful October Saturday spent sitting around a campfire, taking turns stirring the pot of apples with a giant wooden paddle. What could be better?

I can’t remember how many jars we put up that day. It was A LOT! Anyway, we came home with around 10 pint and 2 quart jars. I think we were the only family to finish our share before the next October. The next year, we came home with a few extras. 🙂