A trip to Ulster County, NY, at this time of year must include apples. And, for me, it was my first ever apple picking adventure. Where we live we would have to travel at least 30 minutes to pick apples, but these apples were basically right out of our front door.

We hopped on Ed’s cousin, John I’s, all terrain vehicle (think souped up golf cart with a small flatbed that fit four adults and one child who is almost as tall as me) and headed down the street to the orchards. First stop, Golden Delicious trees. I held the bag while “Little Nicole” (John and Karol I’s 8 year old daughter) easily filled it up (nobody had picked from this tree). Back in the vehicle and off to the Empire trees. ┬áTheses trees had been picked over, so Little Nicole had an excuse to climb the trees to get to the ones that were a bit more out of reach. Once again, I held the bag. ┬áMore off-roading to get to the largest of the apple varieties (and last stop) – these were specifically grown for baking. While they may not have tasted as good right off the tree, they were beautiful to look at.

Golden Delicious Apples

Golden Delicious apples

Karol I. had intended to bake a pie that night for dessert, but Ed and I caused her to change her plans as we arrived with an apple pie with a caramelized walnut crust from Essex┬áProvisions in Essex, NY (on Lake Champlain). While the apples didn’t come from down the street, the pie was amazing – we all agreed that it was a wonderful substitute! And, if you are ever in Essex, do stop by Provisions, not just for pies, but incredible sandwiches (speaking of fall, they have a great turkey, cheddar and cranberry sauce sandwich to put you in the mood for Thanksgiving) and other goodies (including good cheese).

Baking Apples













Baking apples

Ed and I headed home with some fresh apples – first use was in a mixed green salad with grated Pecorino-Romano cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. Plus, we happily shared some with friends (and I got an amazing home grown fresh fig in return from Julie P)!

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2012-10-16T07:38:35+00:00 October 16th, 2012|Categories: Musings|Tags: , |3 Comments


  1. Perry Teillon October 16, 2012 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Nicole closer to home wthere is heriloom apple picking at Hopewell Village in French Creek Park in northern Chester County. Even without the apples Hopewell Village is worth a visit. Here is some more information and you can Google Hopewell Viaalge. Love, Dad
    Hopewell’s orchard includes over 30 varieties of apples, many of which are historic types that may have been found at Hopewell when the furnace was active. The apples are allowed to grow and ripen without the use of applied herbicides or pesticides, allowing them a historic look and taste. Persons wishing to pick apples should stop by the park’s visitor center to obtain a list of apple varieties and orchard map before beginning to pick. Picking poles and buckets will be provided by the park. Apples cost $1 per pound regardless of variety

  2. Lance October 16, 2012 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Linda and I drove an hour just to get some Grimes Golden from a roadside store near Charlottesville, VA. Those and Pippens (look like ‘Grannie Smith’ but are sweet and crunchy). Ben Franklin used to have barrels shipped to England since they travel so well. Apparently Queen Elizabeth loved them. Problem is that we’ve had both in years past and they weren’t that good. I found out that they were hybrids and you have to go to just the right place to get the original “antique” apples. The Golden Delicious that you showed looked really good. Lance

    • Nicole October 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm - Reply

      You are serious about your apples! Thanks for the lesson! Love it.

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