This is September in Colorado: cool nights and warm afternoons with clear, blue skies. We’re lucky to have an heirloom apple tree in our yard, which this year is absolutely loaded with fruit. (The hot, dry summer has been perversely great for the Colorado fruit crop. This tree ain’t exactly an orchard, but it appears to share in the local bounty.) With any luck, we’ll have enough pies and applesauce to last us until the apple blossoms open next spring.
Maybe it’s due to my huge fangirl crush in the 1970s on Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House series, but I’ve always been inordinately charmed by “free food,” and aggressively motivated to do something with it when I find it. When I was a little girl, I loved finding those ferny weeds in people’s lawns that looked like Queen Anne’s Lace, but whose roots resembled (and tasted like) thin, pale carrots. (Maybe they were Queen Anne’s Lace? I don’t know.) I remember a scrawny clover whose lemony leaves we used to chew. My greatest childhood discovery was perhaps a patch of strawberries along a lazy spring that burbled up in the woods by my house. Continue Reading »