Apple picking and Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day of the long weekend to truly relax at home. Saturday and Sunday were spent hither and yon at various family gatherings, but this morning we can stay in our slippers, leisurely sip our lattés, and give thanks for a cozy home and healthy family.

I don’t even mind that the weather is grey and rainy, as I’ll be in the kitchen  for a good part of the day anyway. I have a new set of appliances to break in and there’s no better way than with a turkey-trimmed Thanksgiving spread.

apple picking

I don’t have the usual Monday material for you today, but I thought I would share a few (iPhone) snaps from our apple picking outing last weekend. It’s one of our favourite events of the year, complete with a picnic and plenty of foot races up and down the orchard rows.

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Connecting field to fork at our local strawberry u-pick

As frequent Simple Bites readers will know, we teach our kids about where their food comes from, and try to harvest nature’s bounty through u-picks as often as we can.  Aimee and I were married in an apple orchard, and so apple picking has been an annual tradition.

Strawberry season, however, is much, much shorter, and so this past Monday was the first time our family of five has gone strawberry picking since Clara has joined us.  Four of us absolutely love these seasonal, sweet berries, and the other one tolerated the outing by having races up and down the pathway (he’s not a berry believer).

Strawberry u-pick on www.simplebites.net

It was a deliciously cool and overcast summer morning and we hopped on the trailer for the requisite tractor ride out to the field.  Despite our boys’ need to run, run, run, we were told in no uncertain terms by several of the staff that the field was simply too far to ever imagine walking for adults, let alone children.  Oh well.  It was a nice tractor ride.

Although imported strawberries have been in stores for over a month, the unseasonally cool summer means the local berries are only just starting to ripen, and we were ready for them.

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20 recipes featuring favorite June produce

It’s June, or the season where we flit from one display of fresh new produce to the next like a bumblebee in a field of clover. It can hardly be helped. Each proud arrangement of soldier-like asparagus or blushing round radishes is a beautiful thing and must be admired – at least until we spy the baskets filled with the first local strawberries, that is.

With the absolute deluge of rain we’ve been having, it’s been hard to get into summer. We haven’t had that first real heat wave that stops you in your tracks with its humidity and prompts an immediate trip to the refrigerator for a cool drink. It is only when I make it out to my local market and see the seasonal produce speeding ahead toward mid-summer that I realize, oh, right. We’re halfway through June.

Then I buzz from stall to stall, loading up on sweet cherry tomatoes, firm melons, heaps of greens and more. With our lack of sun, my garden is suffering something fierce, so for now, I’m stockpiling at the marché.

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