Most people will vote Christmas to be their favorite holiday- I know, I’m married to one of them. I on the other hand, represent Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s because I’m American and the holiday marks the kick off to Christmas, or maybe it’s because I get to cook and feed my family with all of their favorites and mine. It could be because Thanksgiving reminds me of fall in North Carolina. Memories of my cousins and I having a Thanksgiving potluck with every available kitchen counter space filled with snacks, drinks, and sides both Indian and American. I will never be able to put my finger on the number one reason, but I will say this. My love for Thanksgiving has only grown since moving to Canada after this year. It wasn’t always this way but I think I may have found the biggest reason to look forward to Thanksgiving in October.
I have been trying to find time to drive east to the farms since this past summer when we went to a U-Pick berry farm. This got the ball rolling to visit these farms more often. The next big season for U-Pick would be apples in the fall, so I waited. As Canadian Thanksgiving Day falls on Monday, we decided this year we would have dinner on Sunday night leaving Monday open for recovery…in this case APPLE PICKING!
And apple picking we did at Willow View Farm!
The farm was more than I imagined. There was an abundance of pumpkins, squashes, and gourds in all shapes, colors, sizes, and textures. Forget classic orange pumpkins, look at these babies!
Walking around the barn opens up to a field of pumpkins seeming strategically placed in the green. Perfect photo-ops for kids and family. And then there I was. Walking along the lanes of apple trees, fragrant of fall and coloring the ground and limbs with two-toned red and yellow-green jewels. I was disappointed that all of the Honeycrisps were gone but that opened my eyes to another variety. I tried Jonah Gold apples for the first time in culinary school but didn’t think twice about it until I bit into one again on Monday. It was sweet and mildly tart with a nice big crunch. Seemingly harder to bruise- who likes bruised apples anyway!- I was sold!
Being that it was our first time apple picking, I had to resist the urge of filling up both bags I brought. The last thing I wanted to do was pick more apples than we could eat or give away. I decided to pick about 10 lbs so I could see how I manage to use them. So far I’ve eaten more than I’ve baked with but that is likely to change. That night, on our way home, I stopped to get puff pastry to test a recipe I grew up eating out of the freezer isle from a box. The classic apple turnover was a favorite and still is- a quick fix to any apple pie craving with the buttery flaky puff pastry. The longest part of making these little pockets of fall is waiting for the puff pastry to thaw, and I promise the first bite will make it worth it.