thanksgiving weekend is here – for us canadians, anyway. u.s. friends, you’re welcome to celebrate and be thankful, too!
how did it get to be turkey weekend already? didn’t i just wish you happy canada day?!
our family is big on traditions. when we were little, the saturday morning of thanksgiving weekend featured our annual trip to the apple orchard. we would drive down to st george (just south of cambridge, maybe a 30 minute trip) and pick our bushel baskets of apples. we would go with our grandpa and grandma c (my mom’s parents). we wouldn’t all drive together, though – two empty trunks were needed to take home all the apples.
i remember that the apple orchard was divided into different sections for different types. back in the 70’s, there weren’t as many varieties or hybrids of apples as we have today. we only could pick types that were natural to southern ontario: macs, ida reds, spies…those are the names that stick in my head.
after entering the farm, we’d bumpity bump down the lane to our first stop. everyone would hop out of the cars. mom, dad, grandma and grandpa would do the actual picking. the brother and i got to play!! we excitedly climbed trees,
jumped on picked up fallen apples, plucked and munched apples right off the trees, ran around…man, it was a good time.
when we got a bit older, the best part by far was the travel from one part of the orchard to another. now, remember: this was the 70’s, and ideas on safety were different than today! since we were going 5 mph for 100 feet from the macs to the ida red’s (or whatever), the brother and i were allowed to sit in the trunk of the car (it was open, of course), along with the apples and the bushel baskets. this was just about as exciting as life could get – we would be beside ourselves with glee at this hilarious ride. i wish i had a photo!
my grandparents and my parents would each pick bushel upon basket of apples. both houses had fruit cellars, so the apples would keep through the winter. and my grandpa loved to make his own applesauce. many a cold winter night, our family would enjoy homemade apple crisp or pie from our thanksgiving apples!
after the picking was over, it was picnic time! mom and grandma would co-ordinate a simple lunch of sandwiches, coffee for the adults and juice for the kids, fingerfood munchies, dessert. i clearly recall that we always had my grandma’s lemon squares. to this day, no one makes a lemon square – even if it’s her recipe! – that matches hers. also totally 70’s: everything we brought for the picnic was re-useable: tupperware, thermoses, cutlery, plates…and a blanket to sit upon!
just this week, my neighbourhood and blogging friend, tricia, posted about her family going apple picking. that’s what triggered my memories! i’m glad to see the tradition continues in other families – such a simple outing that is such a lot of fun.
ever picked your own apples? i have not been apple picking since this childhood era!
what’s your favourite type of apple? i love crunchy, tart, apples – faves would be honeycrisp, gala and red delicious if they’re not mealy (you have to know how to pick ‘em with that variety). on these childhood apple picking outings, i loved eating the ida reds right off the tree – they were tart enough to make your eyes water!