Today was the perfect autumn day. The weather was clear and gorgeous, so we folded down the top, cranked up Beethoven’s 6th (the best bucolic country road music, ever) and went for a ride. Our destination? The apple orchard. Our mission? Pick the first of the season Macoun apples. Nothing in our apple eating experience rivals these babies for pure eating pleasure. Crisp, tart, sweet, juicy. It is the quintessential apple. In fact, we can think of few things on earth as sinful (at least as far as apples go) than picking them off the tree, polishing them up on our sweater and taking that first crunchy, hard bite. We are certain these red beauties were the temptation hanging in the garden that changed everything.

We drove to the same farm we have gone to since we were kids. It was mobbed. Where once fruit trees filled the distant view, suburban subdivisions have grown in their place.  We put on blinders to the clipped boundaries, the hayrides, the moonwalk, and the ice cream stand that the farmer has brought in to build traffic. (Hey, everyone needs to make a buck and the concession circus beats more pop-up mansions.) Patiently, we waited in line, bought our bag to fill,  and trudged away from the crowds across sweet clipped grass to our favorite corner of the orchard.

Admittedly, we have lots of secret beliefs and little obsessions (who doesn’t?) and one is that each tree produces apples with its own distinct flavor.  So, we spent the day on the hunt for the perfect tree that produced the perfect fruit, and once we found it picked as many perfect apples as we could carry.  Fifteen pounds of perfect apples to be precise.

Yes, we got a little carried away.  But, hey it was a big bargain— our overstuffed, fixed price bag worked out to only $1.53 per pound.  We were so proud.  All in all a multi-tasking thrifty day for a bitch on a budget:  food, travel, entertainment, exercise, and culture (Beethoven, remember?).

Wondering what did we do with all those apples?  Check back this week and we’ll fill you in on some of our wickedly good recipes.