The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Autumn rituals
I've found that moving to another country with a different culture and "upside down" seasons, is not always helpful for getting over the homesickness. I miss Halloween (slowly catching on but not nearly the big fun it is in the USA,) Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July. I can't really do anything about that except to try to keep some traditions and hope that other people catch on to the fun and meaning without thinking that I'm just another American trying to force my traditions on them.

One autumn tradition, however, seems to be universal wherever there are autumn crops: pie baking. Every year in the early autumn, I'd make my way to the nearest public orchard, and stock up on apples. One of my favorite spots is in upstate New York. The Beak & Skiff orchard in Lafayette not only puts you on a hay wagon and lets you pick your own, they have a country store with heaps of apple products, including some of the best apple cider I've ever tasted.

One year, laden with three bushels of apples, I made apple pies and apple butter. We had pies that lasted our family of six through the entire winter, with extras to give away. I gave home made apple butter away as gifts. Imagine my delight when I discovered the Tennessee Orchard in Yerrinbool, just down the road from us. There's no hay wagon or cider, but there are HUGE apples to be purchased. So, we did. And were given a bucket of "seconds;" apples that were slightly damaged from hungry parrots but which still would make great pies.

I'm on my third round of pie baking this week - after my order of foil pie plates arrives from the UK. They have great apples here - but no disposable 10-inch foil pie plates. At least not out here where I live - in apple country.
posted by Melanie O. at 1:41 PM -
  • At 10:09 PM, Blogger gardenbug said…

    I love orchards and farmer's markets, too. I love the bounty, the smells...immersion in the farm scene. In Syracuse, We went to the farmer's market every Saturday in season. We bought apples, cheese, doll clothes, home made bread...even bushes for the yard. The best virginia ham I ever tasted came from the Syracuse farm market. Here in Connecticut, I go to Bishop's Orchards for their bounty. I'm glad that you have an orchard near you. Forget the disposable pie tins. Get some good glass ones and use them from year to year. Buy a whole stack of them. Glass is better than metal for pies.

  • At 12:02 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    I've got glass plates, as well, but some pies I am giving away as gifts. Wish you were close by - we could share some pie and a cup of tea.

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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