Saturday, October 29, 2011


I miss fall... at least the kind of fall we had in upstate New York - when the air turns crisp, the leaves turn from green to reds and yellows and then brown, you put on sweaters and the first coats of winter, eat hearty soups,  maybe even a little snow falls that hints of what is coming, and the last deluge of produce comes forth, especially the apples and the products made from them - cider, apple cider donuts, pies, and crisps...  I feel it every year.  I see the apples in the grocery store and I'm not impressed.  They just aren't the same.  Literally, they are different varieties than we loved in Pennsylvania and New York.  The apples there were crisp and tart.  Many of the ones here, even at the farmers' markets, are sweet and mushy.

Of course, there are other signs of fall here.  The last of the grapes are picked and crushed and the new wines are beginning to ferment.  Many wineries bottle wines to free up space in the barrel rooms and sales are abundant because of the need for warehouse space for the new bottlings.

While the temperatures in the low 80's would never have betrayed it, today was a fall day here.  Cheryl and I jumped in the car and headed north to See Canyon in San Luis Opisbo county.  I don't know why they can grow good apples there, but they do.  And we have a favorite orchard - Gopher Glen - that grows 60 varieties of apples including some that we love from the northeast and some we enjoyed that were new to us.  Two weeks ago they were selling Stayman Winesaps - one of our favorites from Pennsylvania and we bought ten pounds.  They're all gone now.   Today we purchased ten pounds of an apple we didn't know as they weren't selling the Stayman Winesaps - Arkansas Black - and two gallons of cider (if you've never had fresh pressed cider directly from an orchard, you've never tasted cider).  It gives us a taste of the fall we know from our past.  Some warm cider donuts would have made me think I had died and gone to heaven... or at least to upstate New York.

Then we headed south, towards home and stopped at Core Winery in Orcutt to pick up a wine club shipment.  Dave and Becky Corey run a great little winery that is just fun.  The wines are quite good and very reasonably priced but it was the family atmosphere that pulled us in and inspired us to join.  So, we enjoyed some wines, talked with folk, picked up our three bottles (and bought three more) and headed home.

Yes, it was 80 degrees and didn't feel anything like an October day in upstate New York (where it was snowing today), but it still felt like fall... and that felt good.

1 comment:

Jessica Winters Mireles said...

It truly was a beautiful fall d today, and it makes me happy to see that you are becoming more adapted to our lovely state! Whether or not you're aware of it, you are slowly letting go of that Eastern cynicism and that makes me even happier!