Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple Harvest - How many carbs for a taste?

The first fall after our first diagnosis

There has been a subtle change around here... it is cooler during the day and downright cold at night.  College football has overtaken our television set.  Harvest and Halloween decorations have popped up all around the house.  The trees have donned their finest red, yellow, orange and golden foilage.  The smells of burning leaves and ovens baking with cinnamon seem to be happily co-mingling everywhere we go. 

It is officially autumn.

Since we live in the midwest, this rite of passage for changing seasons provides the local farmers with tons of produce for farmer's markets, roadside stands and our very favorite, "pick your own" - where farms are opened up to regular 'ole folks who want to pretend to be in on the harvest for a day.   During a typical fall season, we visit no less than four or five different farms and cider mills.  It is one of our very favorite family weekend activities.

This year, with our oldest daughters looming surgery we have been in a hurry to visit every place we can as we are not sure how recovery will be and if she will even want to pick an apple (or 50).

Which is exactly what we did this weekend. 

My husband gave each of the girls a pre-paid bag and instructed them on the correct way to pick an apple off of the tree.

Here is what he repeatedly said, "Wait!  Did you taste that kind?  Take a bite.  Oh, you are done?  What did you think?  Here, hand it to me so I can taste it. Crunch, crunch, crunch.  Oh that IS a good one!  Good job!  What's next?"

After each of our daughters' tiny little mouse taste-test bites, my husband would devour the rest of the apple.  For reference, he is a tall guy with hollow legs and has a passion for food.  Really, if you were ever to cook a meal for a dinner party, he is your guy.  He will savor each bite with an enthusiasm that will make you feel like you just put Julia Child's cooking to shame.

The apple orchard ritual is just as important for him as it is for the kids!

My motherly teaching advice on apple picking was more direct.  No blemishes, rotten spots or worms.  Remove the leaves but leave the stem and place them gently in the bag.


Proudly and carefully, our daughters would not only follow the instructions exactly, but would also take a moment to polish each apple with their sweatshirts.  My youngest daughter even gave a few of the apples a little kiss before putting them in the bag.  To her, picking each apple was akin to picking out a toy at the store.  Only the most perfect ones for our family could come home.  Now this is apple orchard love!

Keeping one eye on the girls' picking progress, I also noted that my husband was juggling even more one-bite apples. 

At one point, I counted about ten "samples" which means he happily ate about ten apples.  I know his belly must have reached an overload status by then.  The poor guy just couldn't help himself.  Fresh apples are delicious and he couldn't see them go to waste.

After our lovely day, I left the orchard with just a couple lingering questions...  

My husband doesn't have type 1 diabetes but if he did, how many carbohydrates would he have eaten?
And how do YOU count carbs and bolus for a mouse sized sample bite?


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