There’s nothing that puts me in the mood for Fall like biting into a crisp, juicy apple fresh off the tree. I enjoy Macouns, a sweet late-season variety, and Stayman Winesaps, a tarter apple that can be tricky to find. My family prefers the mellower taste of McIntoshes and Cortlands. A quick look online can help you identify and locate your personal favorite.
Happily for us, apples are plentiful in our corner of New England. Within a short drive, we have a bounty of pick-your-own orchards with varieties to satisfy all of our tastes. At least once each Fall, we take a break from our usual rounds of sports, playdates and leaf raking to spend an afternoon in the orchards loading up on our favorite fruit. In recent years, we’ve patronized a family-run operation that I discovered by accident a few while back. My daughter was a fussy toddler who hated to nap; one day, in desperation, I packed her into the car and headed north in hopes of lulling her to sleep. I took a wrong turn on the way home, and came upon the most little adorable farm I’ve seen this side of Amish country. I brought the whole gang back that weekend. Since then, we’ve returned every year to harvest apples; measure the kids against the “How Tall This Fall?” signs; and stock up on their famous fresh-pressed cider.
I love everything about apple picking…the tractor ride out to the orchards, the trek through rows of sweet-smelling trees and the feel of the sun on my shoulders as I reach for that perfect piece of fruit. Most of all, I enjoy having bushels of fresh apples on hand through the Fall. (more…)
My grandfather adored his chocolate.
Maybe it was growing up near Hershey, Pennsylvania, or perhaps his years of getting by with less during the Depression, but PopPop ate chocolate every chance he got. He loved it all—creamy milk chocolate, with or without nuts; semi-sweet in cookies or straight from the bag; and his absolute favorite, dark chocolate.
Some of my most cherished childhood memories were the nights we’d stay up late with PopPop, watching TV snuggled on the couch in my grandparents’ cozy den. After my grandmother had gone to bed, he’d turn to us kids and say, “Hey, how about some of that candy?” This was code for us to go searching for the goods.
In those days, my grandmother had a habit of buying beautiful boxes of chocolate, waving them under my poor grandfather’s nose then making them disappear. He’d have us dig through cupboards, ransack drawers and rummage through closets until we unearthed her stash. Naturally, we enjoyed our sweet spoils all the more thinking we were getting away with something…but I’m pretty certain my grandmother knew exactly what was going on. After all, she kept buying more chocolate. (more…)
Baseball fever is running high and fans are root-root-rooting for the home team as the season gets underway. Whether you are part of the crowd gathered at a major league ballpark or little league stand, sitting hunched over your 5-inch black and white or lounging in front of the plasma TV, baseball is best enjoyed in the company of another All-American—Popcorn!
Like baseball, popcorn is a product of the Americas and has been around for thousands of years. Yet over time, it has remained a simple little kernel of goodness. Wholesome and whole grain popcorn contains energy-producing carbohydrates and provides needed !ber to the diet. And, popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories— a great asset for a team player.
If your fan has a serious case of baseball fever, offer them a homemade remedy that is sure to cure. (more…)