We’re welcoming Fall with some home-grown apples. 48 of ’em to be exact. All from one tree in our yard. (Only one of the two produced apples – not sure why!)

Until yesterday, I wasn’t sure how to tell if they were ready to pick despite Googling for ideas, which mostly returned vague suggestions like “they will come right off when you twist” or “you can tell by the weight when you cup on in your palm” or “pull one off and taste one.”  (FYI – if you’ve never tasted an unripe apple, they are gross and you will never want to taste one again making that third recommendation my least favorite.) I tried the twisting suggestion a few weeks back and the apples seemed to be gripping the tree / hanging on for dear life. To me, that said “Back off, woman. Leave us alone.” So I did. Until last night when I noticed that two had given up their death grip on the tree and tumbled into my vegetable garden. (Where I am pretty much growing enough tomatoes to feed my whole neighborhood. Still. At the end of September. More on that later.)

So, I tried to pick one. It came right off with a slight twist of the wrist. I tried a few more – all popped right off. I kept going until I couldn’t reach any more and then called in the big guns, and put Farmer Ken to work. (Haha. The thought of Ken-as-farmer tickles me because we are totally the opposite of people with green thumbs. Yet, here we are picking apples from a tree in our yard. Which is next to a zillion tomatoes on their vines. Which are just to the right of the bed where we grew broccoli this summer, and around the corner from the fig tree and grape vines. All hilarious.) There were so many, that I put the kids to work shuttling apples in bowls from the tree to the kitchen counter.

Grace was so excited about them that she opted for an apple for her before-bedtime-snack instead of her usual vanilla Joe-Joe from Trader Joe’s. (If you’ve never had a vanilla Joe-Joe, I recommend you stop reading this and head straight to your local TJ’s. They look simple (vanilla creme sandwich cookies), but they are amazing. Packed with real, incredible vanilla flavor like no other mass-produced cookie I’ve ever tasted.) Here they are – all set up and ready to eat. I have no idea what kind of apples they are. All I know is that they are green with a red blush, white flesh, and  delicious – nice and crisp and sweet.

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