A few week’s ago, Ethan called me up and said he wanted to go apple picking and did I want to come? Well of course I did but, apple picking is something I associate with the Okanagan – not the greater Vancouver area – could we even find somewhere that we could pick apples ourselves without stealing them off the odd neighbourhood tree? Because, you know, I’m not digging getting arrested for a handful of apples… not even for Chai spiced buttered apples.
Well, a little googling later we found out that yes, yes indeed you can go u-picking for apples! We found the Taves Family Farms in Abbotsford hosted u-picking and had Galas, Alkmenes and, my all time favourite pick up and eat apple, the Honeycrisp, all available to pick. Honeycrisps are hard to find here – it’s an apple I associate with Ontario. So despite having to drive out to Abby, picking Honeycrisps and getting to fill the car up on cheap gas had me on board.
We were totally unprepared for what we came across. This is a full on family fun operation. Hayrides, a corn maze, a petting zoo, fresh pies, corn, pumpkin patches, goofy scarecrows, apple cider, bouncy castles and a lot of very small children doing the things small children do when surrounded by so much stimuli. Not to mention, a lot of parents doing the things parents do when dealing with small children surrounded by so much stimuli…
It was actually a perfect fall day to pick apples and check out pumpkins. A bit hazy, crisp and cool. By the time we left the sun had broken through it and it was outright hot.
So it wasn’t quite what we expected. We talked about this and we’re not sure if it’s cuz the last time either of us did anything like this, we were very small and the trees seemed much bigger, or if it was because these were the “high yield” trees or what. We had both had this notion that there would be giant trees and ladders and we would get these great photos of people up ladders disappearing into the leaves of majestic apple trees and handing apples down into big wooden crates.
Uh… no. Here is 6 foot tall Ethan picking apples off a tree he didn’t even have to reach up into. Note, he is in full view and not enveloped in apple tree branches or leaves and we don’t have a wooden crate. We had a green enviro shopping bag. No ladders either. In fact, I only had to ask him once to reach an apple for me – and I’m only 5ft 7. Sad face
I’m pretty sure this was a “high yield” orchard because the trees in Laura’s orchard were definitely ladder and wooden crate worthy and she told us those were “low yield” trees. Sometimes, all this fancy high tech farming takes the fun out of things.
Either way, we had a lot of fun and we got a lot of apples and that’s all that mattered. The apples were delicious, juicy and fresh. Nothing like eating one right off the tree!
The first thing I made with them was a grilled cheese sandwich with apple slices and then I kept the pan hot, and sauteed up some Chai Spiced Buttered Apples for dessert. So quick, so simple and so tasty! For the Chai Spice mix recipe check out my Chai Snickerdoodles recipe.
- 2 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp chai spice mix
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- handful of raisins
- melt butter in a pan over low-med heat
- toss in diced apples and sautee until they just start to soften up
- add brown sugar and chai spice mix and stir frequently to melt the sugar and incorporate the spices
- toss in raisins
- continue to stir until apples reach a soft consistency and the butter/sugar mixture cooks down into a nice caramel-y glaze
- serve warm on their own or with a little vanilla ice cream or yogurt or use it to top waffles