AN APPLE A DAY......We are lucky to have many wonderful apple orchards in the Capital Region. Each county that makes up the Greater Capital Region (Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Columbia, Schohaire, Montgomery, Warren, Washington, Otsego) has several orchards. From our home, each county can be reached from 20 minutes to less than an hour, so a day visiting orchards is a favorite fall activity. And each county is a very unique destination of its own.
My days of climbing ladders to pick apples are long gone, however that does not diminish my love of orchards. Most of the orchards are not just "pick your own" many have wonderful country stores and some have cafes.
Starting the day with a delicious breakfast is a must.
They make juice too, but I love both the traditional cider and the sparkling cider. When I buy the sparkling cider I look for the small individual bottles to ensure fresh bubbles
Off to the orchards, with an easy picnic lunch. Or drag along the empty picnic basket and grab something at the orchard cafe and find a comfy spot for lunch alfresco. If I bring lunch along, I like something quick and easy. Even something that can be made the night before.
Muffaletta sandwich and chickpea with tomato and olive salad. add Saratoga chips and desert will always be courtesy of the orchards
"take-aways" from the orchards are pumpkin spice and apple cider donuts, apple pie and fresh apple cider.
After a long day out and about nothing ends the day better than a warm slice of apple pie, a wedge of Cabot Cheese Vermont Cheddar or Palatine Cheeses and apple cider. I also like to carefully slice the apple cider or pumpkin spice donuts and gently toast or grill them, just enough to caramelize the sugars.
For the pumpkin spice I like a little dollop of Reddi Wip and for the apple cider a wedge of Palatine Cheese. Add a cup of Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice or Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Tea and it is the end to a perfect day.