Because of travel and surgery and general busy-ness on the weekends the past few months, we realized last weekend that we’d very nearly missed our chance to go apple picking for the season. Because I am four years old, I like to go to the pick-your-own farm every year. We pick apples off the tree, dig our own spinach and broccoli out of the dirt, take a ton of pictures and before leaving I elbow some small children out of the way so I can pet the resident goats and llamas. So last Saturday we went off along Route 70 -- despite the fact that I swore I’d never again travel that cursed stretch of highway after the wedding was over -- to pick us some apples.
It was the very last weekend they were open for the season and there were hardly any apples on the trees at all, but no matter, we’re not too proud to pick apples off the ground. In fact, we managed to find twenty-two pounds of suitable Granny Smiths to take home with us (the price goes down when you get over twenty pounds and we like bargains). We passed on the spinach and beets because we’re overloaded with spinach from our CSA farm share and I don’t know what beets are – uh, I mean, I don’t care for the taste of beets, how dare you suggest otherwise -- but stopped by the sad, deserted pumpkin patch, filled with poor Jack O’ Lantern rejects. We like pumpkins, right? We could get one or two of those and… do something with them. How much are the pumpkins, we asked. Free, the girl said. FREE. We bought twenty-two pounds of apples to save a few cents per pound, so certainly we were not going to pass up the chance to give these poor, dejected (FREE) pumpkins a home.
We took home eight orange adoptees. I had no idea how many pies a single pumpkin would make, but eight seemed like enough to have fully taken advantage of their free-ness, without quite crossing into hoarding territory. Happily, my first foray into making pumpkin pie out of actual pumpkin went quite splendidly. I found directions on how to cook a pumpkin online, followed them to the letter (!) and turned the first two pumpkins into two pies, a cookie sheet full of toasted seeds, a loaf of pumpkin bread and a gallon-sized Ziploc bag of frozen pumpkin puree.
So now I just have six more pumpkins sitting in the kitchen. Since I don’t really like pumpkin pie (a fact that I should probably have taken into account before we started heaving free pumpkins into our trunk) and I refuse to throw any food away, I’ve obviously got to clear out some room in our crowded freezer for another bag or six of pumpkin puree.
And that, internet, is how I came to eat four vegetarian sausages whose best-by date was December 2008, two Eggo waffles and a vodka-lemonade cocktail for dinner last night. Lunch today was half a box of Morningstar Veggie Bites. I only have another box and a half of the sausages left, two boxes of the Veggie Bites (they’re not good, in case you were wondering, and the fact that we’ve had them longer than the sausages isn’t helping), a Sam’s Club bag of boneless barbeque chicken wings that I purchased for last year’s Superbowl (also not good), a box of Trader Joe’s eggplant cutlets (these are actually very good) and 1/3 a bottle of vodka to go. Yes, I suppose that I could take the vodka out of the freezer, but truthfully, we don’t have any space in the cabinets either.