Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Pickin'

A week or so ago I was lucky enough to sneak out to the country with a good friend of mine. E, Bodie and I braved the chilly, blustery autumn weather to go to a vineyard for a wine tasting, buy apples at a local orchard and buy pumpkins from a family-friend's farm.


At our first stop we tasted ice wine for the first time. E was sweet enough to splurge $7 on a glass shot of ice wine for us to share and get a taste. As sweet and decadent as it was, we couldn't justify paying $47 for a small bottle, so we stocked up on some of Wollersheim's other wines and hit the road feeling slightly out of place and under-wined.


On to our next destination: Ski Hi Apple Orchards. As we began the short drive between the two locations the sky let loose and it began to pore. We could barely see the road in front of us. We slowed our pace and arrived at Ski Hi just as the rain took a break. We ran inside, and quickly found out we wouldn't be picking apples today ... unless by picking we were thinking picking a bag of apples out of a pallet sized crate.


Needless to say, I grabbed a five pound bag of Spartans (to be made into a tart later this week) and another five pounds of Cortlands (which Scott and Bodie made into applesauce). I also grabbed a pint of cider to sip in the car and somehow managed to resist the caramel apples. (Speaking of which, I've been jones-ing for a caramel apple ever since. Add that to the to-make list!)


Just as we finalized our purchases, the rain picked up again so we dashed out to the car for fear of being soaked. We nestled the apples next to the wine and began our journey to our final destination: the pumpkin farm. This, by far, was the highlight of the trip for me. They had pumpkins in every make and model, color and size. Better yet, they were really inexpensive and allowed me to supplement my small pumpkin harvest. Bodie picked out a few tiny gourds and E found a bigger gourd shaped like a mushroom.


Several armfuls of pumpkins later, we had the last of the days purchases packed in the back of my truck. We drove back to Madison feeling completely satisfied with the days adventure. We were ready for a quick nap and then pumpkin carving.




Turns out, the wartier the pumpkin, the less likely it is going to be carvable. So we drew faces on some and carved them from others. I have plans for a the remaining pumpkins involving the drill and my printmaking tools.


Well, that's all I can share tonight. It's getting late and we haven't had dinner yet. I'm starving and need to see what Scott's up to in the kitchen. Not to mention, Bodie's birthday is this week and I have a dinner party to plan. Time to finalize the menu and the grocery list before I lose focus. Wish me luck!