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Apple of My Eye

In our ongoing bid to keep ourselves occupied without Catherine, yesterday we went apple picking at Outhouse Orchards in Croton Falls, NY.

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We’d been there a few years ago with Catherine and a friend from school. They were, shall we say, less than enamored with the experience.

We decided it couldn’t hurt to give it a try on our own, then.

Yesterday was a perfect day — sunny and crisp — and we arrived before the crowds descended, all the better to get the lay of the land before we started picking.

First there was a wander through the pumpkin patch.

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As is always the case, Basil was a good sport.

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Then we visited some vendors, sampledĀ a delicious pumpkin cheesecake (no we didn’t buy one) and some amazing fresh mozzarella and soppressata (yes we went back for those, plus a crusty Italian loaf).

In the orchard, we needed some extra height, which Basil managed with this long basket and pole contraption. It took a bit of practice to develop skill using it without sending apples tumbling down the hill.

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By then the place was jammed with kids of all ages filling their bags, taste-testing the apples and having a grand time. The people-watching was great fun and the kids’ antics and comments had us smiling.

Still trying to figure out one mother’s warning to her sons to “watch out for the poison ivy,” though. You’d think having poison ivy in the orchard would be frowned on, bad for business, etc., and therefore one of the things you wouldn’t have to worry about. Maybe the woman was a city chick.

A half-hour later, we had ourselves a ton — er, half-bushel — of apples.

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Some nice folks offered to snap our picture. Looks rather American Gothic, don’t you think?

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Back at home, I whipped up a batch of applesauce while crunching my way through a juicy McIntosh.

Then for dinner, we added a friend’s garden tomatoes to our Italian finds and had a feast.

All in all a pretty good day.

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