November 9, 2022

Nov 15, 2022

Image: Barbara Ryther

In the Fall

Apples are at their best in the fall…

I look for smooth, red skin.

No bruises, please.

Honey Crisps for eating

Macs for sauce

Cortlands for 

crisps or pies.


Today is a good day for a crisp.

At the farm stand

I buy six Cortlands.


At home with my apples, 

the peeling begins.

I remember

my grandmother’s challenge—

only one long peel per apple.

After years of practice,

six unbroken peels—

one for each apple—

fall from my knife.


Now, mouthwatering slices fill the pan—

all but one slim wedge—

the cook’s sample!


A sprinkle of tart lemon juice

on the crisp slices

cuts the sweetness and

stops any browning.

Then oatmeal, brown sugar

and butter are cut together

with a teaspoon of spicy cinnamon.

The buttery crumble tops the apples

and the crisp is ready to bake.


Of all the fall harvest smells–

the dusky leaves rustling on the ground…

new mown hay fields…

apples crushed in a cider press…

pumpkin pies cooling–

the scent of apple crisp baking 

is best.


Now—where’s the ice cream?

Sudie Blanchard