Shopping Siren has eaten her weight in Oreos this pandemic. Also brownies.

It’s a good thing home pants have an elastic waist.

But sometimes you need vitamins that don’t come from chocolate. I know, it’s hard to believe. Still, there’s science behind this and I am nothing if not sciencey.

So I turned to the anti-brownie: apples.

Don’t know your Astrachan from your Empire? The Maine Pomological Society — located in Monmouth, who knew? — maintains a great webpage with photos and descriptions of nearly two dozen varieties. It also lists orchards by county and there are way more than I can cover here, so two words: apple crawl!

We’re at peak picking season, the best time to get a bushel or two of Honeycrisp, my personal fave. I like them covered in caramel.

• U Pick, Wallingford’s Fruit House in Auburn, $1.50 per pound ($2.50 for Honeycrisp)

If you’re looking for something outdoors, socially distanced and delicious, this is it. McIntosh, Cortland, Ginger Gold . . . OK, so that last one sounds like the name of a dancer who arrived on the Love Boat with a broken heart and a long hidden dream to become a choreographer. But it’s also the name of a really good apple.

Not into healthy things? The bakery also offers pies, cookies and other baked goods, as well fresh donuts that taste like heaven. Seriously, if heaven doesn’t taste like cinnamon and sugar, I am going to be very disappointed.

• Apple butter, Hazel Hill Orchard in Turner, $6

Apple butter contains apples, therefore it is healthy. Healthier than brownies, anyway. Probably. I’m almost positive.

Can’t get to Turner because of reasons? Hazel Hill offers free delivery within 20 miles of the town as long as you buy two or more items. So, like, apple butter and applesauce (16 ounces for $5, 32 ounces for $7.50). Look at you being all health conscious.

•  Honeycrisp bushel, Pietree Orchard in Sweden, $58

If you need a lot of apples ASAP, Pietree has your back. Order and pay online, then pick up your apples on site — they’ll be waiting on a table with your name on them. No fuss, no muss and no speaking to anyone. You have pies to make, Todd, you don’t have time to gab.

Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the name of this orchard? Pietree. Pie. Tree.

• Paula Reds, half bushel, Cooper Farms in West Paris, $8

They’re already bagged, tagged and ready to go. All you have to do is eat them. Or, you know, take them out of the bag first. You aren’t an animal.

• Apple pie, Berry Fruit Farm in Livermore Falls, $16.99

Order online, pick up an hour or so later at the farm. You can also grab jars of peach apple salsa ($5.49), blueberry applesauce ($3.99), apple orange cranberry sauce ($5.99) and apple jam ($6.99). So basically all your major food groups.

Best find: Cider, Apple Acres Farm in Hiram, $9 per gallon

Apples that you drink! Add a little rum and cinnamon schnapps and you’ve got yourself a pretty good autumn.

Think twice: About maintaining a chocolate diet for the duration of this pandemic.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who will eat an apple slice if it drops on the floor and they think it might be steak) and the customer service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected]

Metro Creative Services


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.