By late spring our trees are covered in apples, and when it's mid to late June, those apples are ready to be picked. Our Fuji apples ripened earliest, and I have been snacking on one a day for a few weeks. When Simon, Bex, and Spencer came over, I was ready with an apple theme, begininng with a taste test. We sampled the three varieties. We talked about what makes a good snacking apple and what makes a nice baking apple. When we had tried all three and compared them for texture, flavor, sweetness etc... we chose: Fuji and Annas' for baking, and the Dorsett for fresh eating. Then I put them to work! Only it never feels like work when we bring out our apple-peeler-corer. The day-campers had never tried one of these wonderful gadgets, but they are absolutely sold on the efficiency, fun, and twirly-brillant outcome. It's so gratifying to crank that red handle, and get a peeled apple that is cored, and sliced in a continuous spiral! We sliced apples in smaller pieces, and splashed some lemon juice on them, added sugar and cinnamon, then spooned them into buttered dishes, and covered them in oats with butter, more sugar and cinnamon. And this time we had Maria with us too, and she is a brilliant culinary arts assistant. She gave Spencer an excellent safety and practice lesson for working with knives. Did I mention that it was raining? So unusual, and so very welcome. It was a lovely shower, just enough to move us from outdoor camp to porch camp, and the fragrance of the baking apple crisps wafted to us as we patiently waited to sample our wares. The rain soon cleared up, and we could play on the swing, and run around while the crisp finished. They topped their individual creations with blackberries from the garden, and took home an unbaked dessert to share at home, along with some of those golden dorsetts! Local friends, I have apples for you, too!