Fall offers a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities during its colourful, crisp days. One of these comes with the ripening of apples. And if you’re looking to escape into nature for an afternoon, apple picking could be a good way to fill your time. Let’s look at what makes a successful apple picking.
Apple picking is a planned activity. That is, unless you have an orchard in your back garden. I’m going to go on a whim here and say you’re probably going to research orchards nearby. Keep in mind that the varieties of apples will mean different ripening times. But keep an eye out in September and early October.
Apple picking can be a very fun activity for kids, especially if you include some games. Who knows, if they like it, you could start an annual tradition of apple picking.
For a successful apple picking there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For example, did you know that the first apples that ripen are the ones on the outside of the tree? For best results you should start your apple picking with them. It’s kind of in the tittle apple picking, but you should pick the apples by hand rather than shake the tree. Otherwise, you’ll be going home with a basket full of bruised apples. Bruising can also be caused when placing the apple in your basket (or whatever you choose to bring), so handle them with care.
Games you can play
Apple picking won’t necessarily be a stand-alone fun activity for the kids. However, if you notice that your kids, or even your friends, aren’t having the best time doing actual apple picking, you could organise a few games to get their spirit up.
Game one: place an empty basket about 10-20 meters from a full basket of apples. Organise a race and see how fast the kids (or friends) can transfer the apples from one basket to the other. If doing with friends give them extra rules, such as – they have to jump on one leg, they have to sing a song the whole way through, etc.
Game two: After you’ve collected the apples, see who can guess how many apples are in the basket. For adults, you can make it into a betting game, where the loser has to carry the basket, drive back, etc. For kids, a simple reward will do.
Game three: Bring some stickers from home and while you’re doing your apple picking, put the stickers on the apples and then hide them around the area. Give everyone a list of the stickers they have to find.
Some of these apple picking games are a bit more challenging to organise than others. But they will definitely all result in a lot of fun. So if you’re apple picking needs an extra bit of excitement, try them out.
Recipes with apples
Apple picking as an activity is fun. Eating apples on their own – also quite good. But what’s better is all the delicious recipes you can make after you go apple picking. Of course, you can always make some sauce and have the apples with meat. They are also great in a variety of salads, especially green-leaf or cabbage-based ones. However, we’re going to look at a couple of great desert recipes you can make with your apples.
Tart Tatin is one of the best ways to utilise leftover apples from your apple picking. It’s pretty simple to make and doesn’t require much baking skills. You caramelise apples, place a sheet of pasty on top and bake. There are a few versions, of course, you can use puff pastry and minimise the effort by using this recipe or you can maximise the taste by making your own pastry with the help of this recipe. Whether you use ready puff pastry or you make your own, this tart is going to make a great desert!
If you are only looking for a quick desert recipe, you could make and apple crumble. They are simple and delicious and if you have kids, they can definitely help out. You can try very simple apple and blackberry crumble recipe which will be ready in less than half an hour. Or you can go for a classic apple crumble which will be ready to eat in less than an hour.
Whatever you choose to make with your apples, the delicious recipes available will definitely make the perfect end to your fun and successful apple picking.
Do you have any apple picking tips? Share in the comments?
Featured image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/toddler-standing-beside-green-leafed-plant-holding-fruit-1468002/
Currently going into her final year of English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Gery has been writing in a personal blog since 2014 and has been published in publications StudentVoices and FictionHub on Medium. She debuted her first play 'Liminality' at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is already planning her next project.