You know what's a great idea? Going to the Portland Nursery's Annual Apple Tasting Festival!
Not such a smart move? Going to Paradox Cafe for brunch directly beforehand.
Sleeping in, meeting my friends Maeve and Jeff, drinking a mug of Stumptown and eating a 4-grain pancake for the first time in years and heading to an outdoor event just seemed like such a swell turn of events for my Saturday.
I had the #3 with vegan pancake, tofu and vegan sausage. The pancake was near divine with maple syrup and earth balance and SE Portland love, though I wasn't a fan of the sausage. I dug the bit of fennel, the grittiness and the switch to homemade sausages vs. Gardenburger or whatever they used to use, but I'd pass in the future. I ended up giving half of mine away.
Onwards to apples!!
This was my fourth Apple Tasting, and although I passed on tasting every single apple and pear variety available - there were over 60, I did take notes and came home with 4 pounds of tart, sweet apples and 4 pounds of Asian pears. It was exactly what I wanted, and I like to think I greatly impressed the woman who weighed my fruit with my equivalence.
My apple of choice? Always the McIntosh. The first apple I ever bothered to learn the name of when I was younger, besides the craptastic Red Delicious. That one is red. It's government sanctioned. That's about it.
The ideal McIntosh is creamy, crisp, slightly sweet and tangy. I have a fond memory of picking them in upstate New York as a young adolescent. Nearly 3 lbs of my 4 are all beautiful McIntosh, the others including Cox's Orange Pippin and Cortland. My pears were the 20th Century, juicy Olympic and Hosui.
I said, onwards to the tasting!
(and things I remember from our chat down the row)
First, you're faced with deciding which line. Maeve and I opted for the second.
I had my check lists, my descriptions, my mini pencil, toothpick and camera ready.
Then you have teases like this.
Seriously, why did I eat a pancake before this?
Apple tasting is hard work.
I'm sick of apples, Maeve!
Maeve, aren't you sick of apples?!?
This is when Maeve and I were still debating over my love for McIntosh, and turned to the history of Granny Smith in America.
This was either:
Isn't this a cute pear baby?
Do you think I could hit the scarecrow in the eye with this?
The end. Please note I cut out about 20 minutes and 20 bad apple jokes from this post. I think I'm maturing, I also skipped on painting a mini pumpkin and glitter-i-zing it with children.
And what was the first thing I did with my loot? Don't be silly, I don't eat one as is.
Roasted Apple-Pear sauce,
lightly sweetened with agave nectar and a touch of cinnamon.
Pureed in the Vita-Mix I love dearly.
Psst, Portlanders - There's one more weekend left!