Apple picking, a national pastime for the American family, worked a little differently when we lived in Xi’an. My in-laws grow apples, and ZJ would return in the fall to help them out so naturally, I went, too.
Although calling what I did “help” does not really fit this bill. Apple gathering, rather than picking, in the Shaanxi countryside can not be considered a recreational or leisure activity. The orchards my in-laws tend to are about their livelihood, as is the case with neighbors who also tend to their trees. Whereas picking apples, and paying a pretty penny for the privilege, is seen as a fun fall activity for the family (and it is).
Gathering apples with MIL, FIL, sister-in-laws, and nephews meant taking the brown bags with a black film in its interior off the apples weeks before the picking commenced. These bags were placed on the apples prior to spraying pesticides, protecting the apples from ingesting the chemicals. Varieties of apples include Fuji and a local variety whose English name escapes me. Other varieties do grow or are available in China. The in-laws never sent us back to Xi’an empty-handed; making apple sauce, baking apple crumble in the pitiful excuse for an oven handed down to me were ways, besides snacking on the apples, I dealt with the several kilos worth of apples bequeathed to me. Come to think of it, 老妈 never let me return to city life without apples, wild coriander, 玉面, or other edible goodies…
Apple picking in New York, near Warwick and Sugarloaf, the varieties would hang, drooping in a top-heavy manner waiting endlessly. Gala, Winesap, Fuji, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Macintosh, you name it, and it is there. Picking only takes a few hours, and then we head to Sugarloaf for candles from the only candlemaker who makes an art form of parting with his candles.
Goodbye, little candle!
I relished in the schtick in my formative years, but like 老头子, my dad, it could use a freshening up.
We didn’t join the family for apple picking this year, hence the photos from last year, but we sure did dig into the apples my parents, sister and her boyfriend picked 😄!
This post is day five..remember, remember the fifth of November’s BlogHer NaBloMo challenge.
On day four I talked about language learning; day three I mentioned the KonMari method of decluttering; in day two’s post I’m haunted by Bear’s Den, and on day one scrounged up a review of Young’s Year of Fire Dragons.