How About Them Apples?

Apple picking has always been something of a staple of fall for me. I don’t know if it’s just a New Englander thing, but it just doesn’t feel like fall until my stomach hurts from eating my weight in freshly picked apples (And still having too many left over, because how can you stop picking apples once you’ve started?) Not fall  Until I’m getting my free cup of hot apple cider and a caramel apple, made fresh in the orchard’s kitchen. Not Until we’re looking up recipes for apple pie and apple crisp and apple strudel and apple-seared pork and anything else we could possibly use the plethora of apples that have taken over the kitchen counters for. It’s not fall until the first apple has been plucked from the trees and satisfactorily bitten into. I don’t care how golden the leaves are or how chilly it gets – apples make autumn.

There’s a specific formula for the perfect apple-picking day. Normally I wouldn’t do this, but I feel it’s my civic duty to make sure everyone – especially those of you from SoCal who have never actually experienced an upper East Coast fall before – knows the magic that makes up this specific outing. Here are your ingredients:

  • A day after fall officially starts (preferably one in early to mid October – that’s when the apples are at their prime.)
  • Sunny weather, but with a temperature that doesn’t go above… let’s say sixty-five, just to be generous.
  • An apple orchard (Well, duh.)
  • At least one friend (preferably more) to accompany you
  • One camera

When all of those things align, you’re ready to go. Now, be wary of the first apple you decide to pluck from the tree. The rules are the first one you pick, you eat. And you don’t want your first apple experience of the day to be disappointing. So make sure you’ve got a nice one. Like this:

Now, this is an extraordinarily chosen apple. (I should know. I ate it.)

Another thing you should know: do not be afraid to climb. A lot of apple orchards will supply you with an apple-picking utensil for those you can’t quite reach. There’s a little basket in these utensils so you don’t have to have someone else running around like crazy trying to catch the apple and getting bonked on the head with it. As much as we love Newton, that’s one experiment we don’t need to relive.

But in all seriousness – if you see the perfect apple, and you can’t reach it, don’t be afraid to get creative. There’s a reason humans have shoulders, you know.

I know you didn’t actually know that I’d left, but I’m back. I had to run to the Pub and buy some apples. And apple juice. (The Nantucket Nectars apple juice can taste deceptively like apple cider, if you allow your imagination to run away from you just a little bit.) And now, as I curl up in bed in my pajamas, about to watch Hocus Pocus for the first time of this Halloween season, I can pretend I’m back from a long day of apple picking. Which really, is all I ever want. I’m sure the lot of you are thinking to yourselves, “yeah, yeah, WHATEVER. This girl has some serious obsession issues.” And, well… you’re kind of right. But trust me when I say that if you’ve never been apple picking, you haven’t lived. And if you don’t trust me, because I’m just some strange girl on the Internet who says “apples” too much, check out the event that City Links is doing October 23rd. They’re going to an orchard and picking – you guessed it – apples. (And also pumpkins. But the apple part is more relevant to my whole topic here.) So hurry, and sign up! The sheet is outside of Student Affairs, and if you’re lucky, there may be a spot for you left. Just be prepared to share your spoils with me to a nice chorus of, “I told you so, didn’t I?”


Photo Credit: Google Images and Hannah VanDerlaske


Hannah VanDerlaske is an incoming freshman at Sarah Lawrence College. She has lived on a tiny island her whole life, which produced her giant love of reading. She started telling stories when she was four years old, making up magical games for her sister and she to play, and then began writing them down a year later, after she had learned her alphabet. Now, if not ranting and raving in posts on the internet or working on her second novel, Hannah enjoys buying jewelry, watching trashy television, and cuddling with her friends.

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