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  • Writer's pictureNicole Ciuppa, RDN

Mornings at the Apple Orchard

Apple picking has been a family tradition for years and it is one of my favorites. Each October, my mom, my cousins, and I drive up to the countryside in New York to Pennings Farm for a day of Fall activities. The car ride up to the farm is full of laughter and the most ridiculous conversations which create endless and priceless memories that only we will understand because "It was so funny, you had be there". After taking in the scenic views of the countryside's vast fields and colorful trees, we head to the orchard ready to pick our favorite apples. I love the Macoun and Honeycrisp apples so we stock up on those!

Apple picking is incredibly special and there are many reasons I continue to go each year. There is something magical about being out in the orchard seeing rows of bountiful apple trees, vibrant autumnal foliage, and hearing the satisfying sounds of crunching of leaves under your feet. It is the moment of reaching on your tippy toes to pick that most perfect apple. It is the proud feeling you get when carrying the heavy bag so full of apples that some are toppling out.

It is important when having food allergies to cherish moments where I can safely and without anxiety participate in social events surrounding food. Apple picking is one of those events. I am able to pick an apple off of the tree and bite into it to see "do you like these kind?" without worry or munching on an apple while leisurely walking throughout the orchard if I feel hungry. This day of inclusion is so special and I am thankful for these experiences.

Once securing the bags of apples into the trunk of the car, the family and I make our way into the farmer's market for some shopping. I make a beeline for the honey shelves (see what I did there) and pick up 2 giant jars of Warwick's raw local honey. Moving on to the various fresh produce, I make my selections and usually take home brussel sprouts, berries, and sweet potatoes, among others. We cannot leave the market without purchasing a gallon of farm fresh apple cider- mmm, I can feel my mouth watering!

On the other side of the market, my cousins are standing on line for Pennings' famous apple cider donuts purchasing a couple to eat outside and a case of 6 to bring home. I cannot eat the donuts due to my severe food allergies but nothing is stopping me from enjoying the aroma of hot apples, cinnamon, and freshly baked sweets. On the way home, the family decided to visit our aunt at her nursing home she is staying in to give her a couple of the apple cider donuts. She was so excited to see us and we stayed for a bit to talk with her. As you can tell, we turn apple picking into not only a fun Fall day out but also a chance to really connect with each other as a family.

I would love to know the different social events surrounding food that you feel happy and comfortable in. Yours might also be apple picking but it may not. Leave a comment down below sharing either something you love about apple picking or your opinions on social inclusion while having severe food allergies.

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