It’s been my family’s tradition for as long as I can remember to go apple picking in the fall. Nearly all of our family pictures are taken posed in an apple orchard, framed by heaping baskets of just-picked apples. I have sweet memories of the car ride to the farm, climbing the apple trees, and then storing our bounty in paper bags in the cool garage. In the following mornings we would venture barefoot into the cold to choose an apple to take to school and my mom would make my Grandma’s applesauce flavored with Red Hots, a savory winter treat my dad would pile high onto homemade bread. Ahhhh tradition. I seem to become more and more mindful of my past with each passing year.
Last year we paid a trip to Julian in late October, when the weather finally felt like fall in SoCal, but we nearly came home without apples it was so late in the season. We vowed to come earlier this year. We paid Apple-Starr Organic Orchard a visit for some you-pick and came home with three pecks of apples. It is just the start of their season, (and still 80 degrees outside!) so only the Jonagolds and Galas were ripe, but that was plenty delicious for us. And now on to the applesauce making, because, it’s tradition of course!