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4 kids. 3 dogs. 1 amazing wife. 1 great job. And a huge passion for food. Cooking it, tasting it, growing it. An abiding love and respect for the farmers, artisans and other individuals committed to bringing the best to your table and mine.

Come along for the ride. You can never be quite sure of where we're going, but it will almost always be delicious.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An Apple a Day........

Carrying on family traditions is important. Whether it's making my Nan's Molasses Cookies (the best cookies in existence. If you ask nicely I might even share the recipe) or gathering for coffee and cake on birthdays(always the same cakes, from the same bakery, plus Oma Ellen's Mandarin Quark Cheesecake. Another killer recipe worth asking for!), these are the moments that tie families together. For me, one of the most special traditions is an annual jaunt to our local apple orchard.

For the past few years, my orchard of choice has been Pine Farms Orchard in King City, Ontario.(pinefarmsorchard.com ) At first, it was just the most convenient. But as time has passed, I've come
to realize that they truly are a great operation. The orchard is always well maintained and looked after. The apples are plentiful and beautiful. There are plenty of varieties available, and the orchard is good at keeping you up to date on what is available on what date. Additionally, the dwarf trees they have ensure plenty of low hanging fruit for the smallest of pickers.

As soon as the boys arrived home from school, we loaded up the car and headed off. A quick stop in at the front building to pick up bags and find out which apples were ready for picking and we were on our way.

Today's targets were Macintosh and Cortlands. They make a great "freezer mix". I peel and roughly chop all the apples and then pack them in medium Zip-Loc bags and freeze them. It's the perfect quantity for a pie or apple crisp. Just pull out a bag, thaw and you're ready to go. The mix of the two varieties ensures a great flavour and a nice mix of textures as well. In addition, we were in the hunt for a few Honeycrisps as well, for the boys to eat.

In a matter of minutes we had found all the apples we needed and the kids and Kris headed off to the small playground for a quick romp and to say hello to the ducks. I met up with them there and took a look through the small gift shop and cafe they have there. Definitely worth checking out. (The hot apple cider is definitely worth sampling. Perfect thing on a cool autumn afternoon.)

Minutes later we were in the car, driving away, with no sounds from the back seat other than the delighted chomping and slurping of two happy boys and two very large Honeycrisp apples.

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