Picking a Perfect Pie

Quick post before bed: have to get up early for Comic Con tomorrow – or, as my mom pronounces it, “Commie Con,” as if it were a convention for communists.

[Edit: YES I CLAIM FIRST FOOD POST!! *Triumphantly plants toothpick flag into muffin soil*]

Today I went apple picking at a place in St-Jean sur Richelieu (most French Canadian name ever) with my mom and sister. It’s actually right down the street from La Goudrelle, our favourite cabane à sucre (sugar shack), along that forested stretch of road lined with huge maple shacks and farmer’s stalls. My sister had the whole thing planned out and had picked an adorable orchard, which had a crêperie attached, where we had a nice lunch while waiting for the drizzle to disappear. The apple-sausage-cheese crêpe was delicious, despite the spear-in-my-gut cramps it induced in me. Damn you lactose intolerance!

old timey goodness

The orchard had a zillion types of apples to pick, and the fields were HUGE! No shortage of apples there, unlike the last time we went apple picking with Taun-Taun and had to settle for mealy apples from the bin. This orchard (called Érablière Charbonneau) had Spartan, Empire, Lobo, Gala, MacIntosh, Red Delicious, and Paulared apples, just to name a few. We came looking for some Lobos for pie-making, but wandered into the forbidden zones where the trees were roped off to pick Cortlands and Galas. Criminals!


the evidence: a vastly overpacked bag

You can tell from the bottom of the bag that we hadn’t quite gotten the apple-picking technique down and ended up with all the green ones. Clearly we were too excited by the vast fields of apples and picked everything in sight.

I remember my first apple-picking field trip and today was exactly the same: that earthy, damp coolness of autumn, grey overcast skies that make the apples seem deep and sumptuous, orange leaves, pumpkins for sale in wet and musty hay. We passed two tractors full of screaming children carrying little self-picked pumpkins. Their plastic school bags and lunch boxes were strewn all over the picnic tables, and supervisors were hollering, “BEN VAS-Y AUX TOILETTES!” I decided to take some pictures to show my future students what a typical Canadian field trip is like, hoping that they won’t be so unruly over there as they are here, because my ear drum was about to burst. Unfortunately the photos are on my camera so I’ll have to upload them some other time.

After that we were enticed by the syrup shop and bought some delicious apple cider and maple candies. One question: why the FUCK is it so hard to find maple candies?! And why are they so fucking expensive?! I paid $5 for maybe 8 of them today. Can’t I just buy a big can of them??

Anyway, after that, we wanted to pick some cucumbers and tomatoes at Reid Farm, but the mud was ridiculous, so we went a lovely fromagerie instead, called Au Gré des Champs.


It’s a very cozy, yet classy shop tucked away on a small road facing a corn field. (Those interminable, Québécois corn fields). We were the only customers at the shop and the woman behind the counter was so sweet. She reminded me very much of our friend IGS 🙂 we tried their homemade cheeses and they were delicious! Very subtle, nutty flavours. We bought three small samples to bring home.

a window to watch the cheese ripen

it’s almost medieval looking

On the way home we stopped by the grocery store for some baguette, prosciutto, and pâté for a very European supper (in front of the TV, for that dash of North America. Also because I’ve engulfed the kitchen table with my unpacked things).

mmmm delicious food that I’m definitely going to miss

After supper, my sister and I baked pies with the apples we’d picked. And by “we baked pies” I mean that my sister did all of the dough baking and kitchen prep, and I just tossed some apples and spices together before sealing it all up. She made an apple pie classic, and I decided to use some frozen peaches for a Peach Apple Ginger pie. Sounds and smelled good in theory; hopefully it will actually taste good and not be yet another baking disaster on my part.

the finished product (just mine, because I’m an egotist)

All in all, it was a lovely, lovely day. It was so nice to spend time with mom and sister together. I don’t think we’ve had quality “just girls” time in a very long time. Got a lot of pictures too! And we met a very friendly farm cat :3 Most importantly though: PIE FOR BREAKFAST!

One thought on “Picking a Perfect Pie

  1. Pie for breakfast </3 my heart breaks at that. But omg cheese ripening!! You deserve first food post for how thorough and vivid this is – definitely feels like a damp autumn day in French Canadia. I raise my glass of apple cider to you.


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