Orchard and Pompoenerie
As I am writing these words to you, I am sitting on my couch under a cozy blanket, recovering from a nasty cold, and reminiscing about the last warm day of the year: October 15. It was a gorgeous Sunday and I wore my green flannel shirt dress with bare legs. Beautiful days like these don’t come along often in the Netherlands, therefore we took advantage of this exceptional weather.
Our annual fall tradition consists of picking fruits at the Olmenhorst estate. The orchard covers approximately 18 hectares of organic fruits and offers a large variety of apples and pears. We picked a dozen fresh apples from the trees... well, actually B did! The fruits were hanging on high branches, I couldn’t reach most of them. Unfortunately, we were too late for the pears. The last ones were gone a day before our visit, so instead we purchased pears at the country store on-site.
There is a pleasant little terrace on the estate and it was incredibly busy on that day, children were running around the playground. We were one of the few visitors without kids and almost felt "out of place". In between the chaos, we sat down to enjoy the warmth of the sun rays, a slice of Dutch apple pie with slagroom (whipped cream) and a glass of the locally-pressed juice.
On our way home, we always stop at the farm nearby to collect some pumpkins. This year, most of the leftovers were rotten. This led us to scout for a new location, and we discovered a charming spot with a better selection of pumpkins in Leidschendam: the Pompoenerie Marie. The name on its own sounds adorable and playful; “Pompoen” means pumpkin in Dutch (side note: it’s my favorite word Dutch word).
There were so many colors, shapes and sizes to choose from!
It was a self-service based on trust: we selected our pumpkins and dropped our money in the milk container. After a good half hour of decision-making, we came home with this lovely batch:
This fall, we decorated our living room, our staircase and our entrance with colorful pumpkins. This friendly cat from our neighborhood enjoyed our outdoor decor.
The following day, I usually bake some crumbles and make some compote with our freshly-picked fruits. I skipped the compote because the apples were bitter this season, but I prepared my traditional apple crumble. And for the first time, I tried a pear and chocolate crumble. I definitely preferred the latter although it required a longer baking time. I'll make sure to share the recipe next year!
B brought extra crumbles to his office and his colleagues seemed pretty happy about them. Now tell me, which team are you on? Pear or apple?