Hooray! It is finally apple time and I hear 2013 promises to be a bumper crop for Michigan apples. This morning it was cool and refreshing – perfect for a trip to the cider mill for warm donuts and just-pressed cider before heading home to watch the college football games. Unfortunately the beautiful a.m. weather will not extend through the p.m. and rain and thunderstorms are on the horizon. To satisfy my own apple cravings, I walked to Meijer today to buy my first apples of the season. As in the Summer when I try a different fresh fruit each week when I shop, I’ll try each of the apple varieties offered as they become available as we head through the Fall season. My all-time favorite varieties of apples are the scrumptious Honeycrisp and the sweet, almost tropical-tasting Pinata, which come out around Thanksgiving. I decided on Gala apples for today – they were huge and I only got one week’s worth to save my shoulders since I was hauling bananas, broccoli and bread on the other shoulder. Those seven apples weighed me down but will be good eating accompanied by a few cubes of cheddar cheese. Next week it will be Fuji apples – I like them as well, but today they looked rather dull and dusty looking while the Gala apples were shiny and bright. Hey, I could just as easily have washed them off, but it is all in the presentation and the Galas just looked more inviting. As the old adage goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and apples combined with a flu shot next week will hopefully ensure a healthy 2013-14 Winter for me.
The local cider mills opened on Labor Day weekend. It’s been years since I went to Apple Charlie’s Cider Mill in New Boston. Thinking of cider and donuts evokes a fond memory of goodies from the Franklin Cider Mill. One of the art directors at the ad agency where I worked in the late 70s lived near that cider mill and in the Fall he brought in cider and donuts for the whole department (forty of us) every Friday morning. We’d have the large conference room table ready with a throwaway tablecloth because he’d carry in cardboard boxes laden with big greasy bags of still-warm donuts. He’d make a second trip out to the car to bring in fresh apple cider and plastic cups. It was a much-appreciated treat and he got a kick out of doing it for everyone. The rest of the year, Dan baked a mean chocolate chip cookie and to everyone’s delight, we were often the recipients of several trays of warm cookies to have with our coffee on a frosty Winter morning.
I recently heard the proprietor of the Franklin Cider Mill being interviewed by Warren Pierce of WJR. He explained that it takes one bushel of apples to make one gallon of cider. I was amazed at that ratio! No wonder cider is pricey. I have decided my reward for reaching my next walking goal will be a half-gallon of the Honeycrisp apple cider. It is more expensive than regular cider, but this will be a little indulgence for me to celebrate attaining that goal.
As of today, in my quest to beat my car mileage with my own foot power mileage in 2013, the stats shake out as follows:
Grand total of car miles driven in 2013 as of 09/07/13: 287.00
Grand total of miles walked in 2013 as of 09/07/13: 258.25
I hope to surpass the car miles in the next few weeks, weather permitting. Sweet hot cider with a cinnamon stir stick will be the welcome reward.