September 17, 2012

National Apple Dumpling Day

"Comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love." - The Song of Solomon 2:5

It's National Apple Dumpling Day!

One of my favorite things about living is autumn: the way the leaves the change, the way people slow down as if taking a breather between the summer and holiday rush, and all things apple related. Over the years people have come to know me for my obsession with apple trees, apple picking, apple cider, and apple dumplings.

When I got my first car, it was September and I was seventeen. Unsure of where to go with my new found freedom, I took a trip out to the orchard in town...a place I had found peace, stillness, and restoration in my entire life. The windy road there is lined with long-armed trees that reach overhead. And in fall, the leaves erupt with colors of gold, red, and orange creating a stained-glass effect when the sun shines its brightest. Even in rain, the sound of the drops hitting the leaves brings with it a sense of calm unlike anything else I've experienced.

When I arrived, I bought an apple dumpling with vanilla sauce and a pint of apple cider and meandered through the rows and rows of trees that were heavy with fruit. It became a weekly ritual for me from Labor Day to Thanksgiving. As the years ticked by, my family and I had an on-going joke about the seasonal ten pounds I would put on from my "all-things-apple" diet.

As you can imagine, I have been looking forward to this food holiday since day one. Instead of celebrating with my normal apple dumpling, I thought it might be fun to try a different orchard's version of a dumpling. So, I went to Bolton Orchards in Bolton, Massachusetts where the apples sleep.

The dumpling was good, although it tasted more like an apple pie than anything else. I was impressed with the whole apple at the heart of the dumpling though, which was soft and spiced just right. Then again... was there ever a happier marriage of flavors than apple and cinnamon?

I hope today - and the rest of your autumn days - are as beautiful, peace-filled, and delicious as they possible can be. Rest assured, mine will be.

Happy National Apple Dumpling Day!