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nightlife

Apple picking

  • 1st Oct, 2006 at 11:59 PM


Eye of my apple
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

I just woke up from sleeping in all day. I was so tired when I went to bed that I'm amazed at how refreshed I am. Sleep, beautiful sleep.

Let me back up a bit. Yesterday, Saturday, we arranged to have an apple bee. So I rented a car, drove to vierge_en_trop's flat and picked her up along with callmepavlov, cpirate, and drkeys. We drove south to Mont-Saint-Grégoire, about 50 km south of Montréal. There, we got lost a bit before finding la Cidrerie Leo Boutin, which advertised tempting apple cider.

We parked the van and examined our options. We opted to pick apples first, so we paid for some plastic bags and went out back. I went around tasting the various apples from various trees: Lobos, Cortlands, Paula Reds, Empires, McIntoshes, and Spartans. I was greedy, so I had bought two large plastic bags, which we filled with Cortlands and Paula Reds. I knew I wasn't going to eat them all fresh, so I wanted plenty of apples for processing. Unfortunately, many of the trees were diseased, or had fruit that had been blackened. But we managed to get the best ones. And I got to climb a tree.


Apple pies
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

After we picked our fill, we went inside to taste the ciders available. Many of them were quite delicious, so we made some purchases. Then we tried to have a meal, failed, and decided to go back to Montréal instead. This was a great idea, as we got to eat at Café Santropol. After a very tasty lunch, we dragged our apples to my apartment and started to work.

We peeled and sliced and peeled and sliced until our hands ached. I rolled out pie crusts and crumble topping like there was no tomorrow. And the food processor whirred constantly as it ground up apples. For dinner, we had a salad, ravioli in pesto, and apple crisp. The crisp was especially savoury because we had made it by hand, and also because of the generous amounts of butter used.

The apartment smelled of warm apples and cinnamon at this point. In the end, we ended up with about six litres of homemade applesauce, nine pies, and seven apple crisps. It was warm in the apartment, so I threw open the windows, letting in the rainy autumn air. I managed to stay awake until 4:00, tending the oven, when everyone else left with their spoils in hand. I hurt all over and was barely able to stumble to bed. By the time my head hit the pillow, I was already dreaming apple-scented dreams.


Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
evildrgo
2nd Oct, 2006 04:24 (UTC)
mmmm...

sfllaw
3rd Oct, 2006 02:17 (UTC)
Yeah, just walking into the apartment makes me think of pie, because of the smell that's lingering here.
thewronghands
2nd Oct, 2006 05:08 (UTC)
Hurrah for apple picking and tree climbing and turning it into something delicious afterwards. [grin] I really love going out and getting my own food, in a non-grocery-store fashion. Also, that all sounds really delicious.
sfllaw
2nd Oct, 2006 08:35 (UTC)
I find the concrete goodness of making one's own food to be wonderful. It's an excellent way to reconnect with life, as opposed to the horribly specialized work we do these days.

I'll probably never give up my high-standing as an intellectual. But being able to feed oneself with the direct results of one's labour is priceless.
dwiseman
2nd Oct, 2006 05:56 (UTC)
This is one of the many reasons why fall is my favourite season. I can almost smell the warm apples and cinnamon from here.
sfllaw
2nd Oct, 2006 08:36 (UTC)
It's too bad that winter is a terrible growing season in Canada.
makemyway
2nd Oct, 2006 07:46 (UTC)

I am eating an apple right now, not cheap, not abundant, I certainly can't make pie as I don't have an oven, but a girl can dream.
Simon, honestly, reading this post makes me feel (and I hope the feeling is mutual) that our friendship has the quality of destiny.
I'll see you around Christmas.
Mia
sfllaw
2nd Oct, 2006 08:36 (UTC)
Do people sell pies in Japan? Or is that a luxury as well?
makemyway
2nd Oct, 2006 11:26 (UTC)
Arguably there are pies available, in small slices, wrapped in cellophane, they tend to be on the creamy rather than fruity side. I have no complaint about Japanese sweets though, they are awesome, and even the packaging is growing on me. But there is a lack of North American style pie, (although,surprisingly, not French patisserie). This has to do with the way fruit is consumed, its just not disposably cheap the way it is in Canada and the US. No one here would make 7 pies at once, no one can afford it, no one has a oven etc..
(Deleted comment)
sfllaw
3rd Oct, 2006 02:16 (UTC)
That sounds wonderful. I have some raspberries here, as I was planning to do just that. But then I got lazy.
(Deleted comment)
sfllaw
3rd Oct, 2006 02:16 (UTC)
Thank you!
(Anonymous)
2nd Oct, 2006 15:28 (UTC)
Hi Simon,
My sister Mia directed me to your amazing live journal.
Those pies look amazing. I'm totally inspired. UBC has an apple festival, where I assume quantities of organic apples are sold to hippies for 1.99$/lb. Do you have a pie crust recipe that you always use?
Anna
sfllaw
3rd Oct, 2006 02:19 (UTC)
I use a variant of the pie crust endorsed by Shirley Corriher in Cookwise. It makes for very flaky crusts.
baprime
2nd Oct, 2006 15:54 (UTC)
Much as I enjoyed this past saturday at the botanical garden with a certain goofy gentleman, I'm kinda sad I missed out. Maybe I can talk my sister into picking apples sometime soon.
sfllaw
3rd Oct, 2006 02:19 (UTC)
I think that's an excellent plan. Surely a pie-making expedition is in order.
opalmirror
2nd Oct, 2006 20:53 (UTC)
Sooo many apples coming in on our three trees. Soooo little time to bake/cook/etc. them away...
sfllaw
3rd Oct, 2006 02:30 (UTC)
It's true. That's why you need an apple bee, and have friends to help with the processing and to take home the spoils.
math_foo
3rd Oct, 2006 02:02 (UTC)
I haven't been apple picking in almost seven years. Your post brought back memories.
sfllaw
3rd Oct, 2006 02:30 (UTC)
You might want to do it again sometime.
girlintheclouds
3rd Oct, 2006 05:17 (UTC)
o.m.g. apple pie. mmmm.
i so want apple pie right now.
sfllaw
3rd Oct, 2006 06:30 (UTC)
You should get some pie. Now's the time.
girlintheclouds
3rd Oct, 2006 06:32 (UTC)
i plan to make some pumpkin pie for thanksgiving.
it's pretty easy to make.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )