Fall can be both hopeful and disappointing. It is a glorious time of year, colorful, full of crisp air and a sense of renewed vigor for being in the kitchen and making wholesome, hearty meals. Sometimes warm weather holds out and peppers and tomatoes keep merrily producing fruit. Or, winter can move right in with barely an apology and dismiss your careful fall preparations with wrathful cold and snow.
Our first disappointment of the fall was the apples. Our apples were beautiful this year, a good year for them, everyone told us. We were eagerly watching the variety called Goldrush, a tart apple that is perfect for winter storage, and wondering about the ideal time to pick. One morning we noticed the trees no longer bent under the weight of the fruit and far less of the green-gold orbs dangled from the branches. Matt went out to discover that deer had decimated the apples, taking leaves and tender shoots with them as well. He was so forlorn, picking the untouched fruit that was only one third of what we had before. My dreams of applesauce, apple jelly, and dried apple rings burst when I saw the one small basket that held our harvest.
Now there is snow on the ground from the two times it snowed last week. Bright leaves scatter over the melting snow as if they're trying to take their season back. I'm rooting for fall to prevail for a few more precious weeks.
Tue, November 1, 2011