Tradition Success and Counting
Every year I anticipate the leaves changing colors from the many shades of green to pigments of brown, yellow, gold, red, orange, and every hue in between.
Every year I count down the days until the first day of autumn.
And every year I mark on my calendar Columbus Day Weekend.
Columbus Day Weekend is our go-to “set aside dates” because if we get rained out (I think it’s happened once? in our almost 20 year tradition) we can bump the date around because of the Monday break.
As you well know, this weekend Monday was Columbus Day.
Therefore, this weekend was that splendid eat-all-you-can-eat festival of apples.
And it was everything I hoped it would be.
It did not fail to live up to the expectations of my memories. Instead, it surpassed them with loving family, perfect weather, delicious food, and some mighty fine pickings.
Saturday we met a bunch of cousins, aunts, and uncles who made the trip up from Long Island at the orchard that we go to each year. We’re pretty loyal to them and it’s amazing to think back on how the place has changed over the years!
They’ve definitely expanded and added on with some amenities, but the good old fashioned charm is still there and keeps us coming back for more!
We all walked around the orchards for a few hours, taking in the beautiful day, catching up, and just enjoying each other’s company. It’s moments like these when you just have to breathe in thanks. Some of the simplest things are life’s greatest treasures.
After wandering around through the rows of trees and finding some good pickings here and there, we (proudly) found our way to the bins. There were tons of apples in the crates and they were perfect, freshly picked, and just what we were looking for.
Since we’re not allowed to climb the tress (Ok, maybe we’re a bit guilty) and the apples in the crates were just THAT good (plus, we spent some serious hours perusing the trees) we didn’t feel traitorous at all for filling our bags from the bins.
After hanging around for a bit, walking by the pumpkin patch, and checking out the baked goods, preserves, and farm fresh goodies, we headed back to our house for a feast.
I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even think to bring my camera out for the food. Maybe it was the Mike’s (or two) that made it slip my mind?
Or one too many apples?
Or the fact that the food was just so good I didn’t even stop to think about anything else.
Because the face on this tree was basically my exact expression when the food came out.
For the record, my mom is a stellar cook. Culinary skills and a knack for the kitchen runs in her blood. And when she cooks for company…she COOKS for company.
On the menu were trays of sausage and peppers, lasagna and a big pot of sauce, spinach balls, hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, a hot cheese dip, and then chips and veggies.
The best part?
I certainly did pack up a few containers to bring back to school with me. I want to taste this family holiday for a few more days! And it’s perfect to take out of the freezer if I get an “I want to go home” moment. Although, the food doesn’t exactly cure it. If anything, it makes me want home even more.
This weekend was by far a successful continuation of a longstanding tradition. I’m so happy and feel so blessed to have made another classic memory with my family.
Now if you don’t mind, I think I’m going to go bite into an apple.
(PS. Alicia Keys and her family were at the orchard, too! We saw them when we were leaving. I didn’t meet her but some of my cousins got out of the car and met her. First the Celtics, then Alicia Keys? I don’t even know…)
Do you have any traditions with your family or friends?