10.23.11_Fall Festivities

On Saturday we took a group of friends down to Charlottesville to go apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard and then do some wine tasting. I hadn't been apple picking since I was a kid and was excited to go again. The views from the orchard are amazing and we had a perfect day. Phillip and I had looked up a few recipes we wanted to try before we went down so we knew how many apples we would need to pick. We ended up with 15 Fuji apples and one pumpkin, perfect for an apple crisp, homemade applesauce and pumpkin seeds!

I forgot how easy making applesauce is. The part that took the longest was peeling and coring the apples. Phillip and I both used paring knives to peel the apples. I tried to be all Top Chef and act like I was in the mies en place relay that they always do on the first episode. Sadly, if I were a contestant I think I would be eliminated immediately. I did almost peel an entire apple without picking up my knife once, creating one single curly-cue of apple skin. Impressive I know. We peeled 7 medium-sized apples, cored them, and then quartered the apples before adding them to a cup of water, 1/4 cup sugar and 3/4 tsp of cinnamon. Cook the apples of medium heat, covered for 15-20 minutes and then they are ready. I don't like very chunky applesauce so I transferred the apples to the blender and gave them a quick whirl. The applesauce was super delicious and made a good amount!

Next up was the apple crisp. We found lots of different recipes for apple crisps and we finally settled on one that had no eggs and it was super easy. While the oven preheats to 350 degrees, peel, core, and slice 6 apples (we did 7 because they were kind of small), then mix the apples in a baking dish with 2-3 TBS of sugar, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and a TBS of flour. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup flower, 5 TBS brown sugar, 2 TBS sugar, and a stick of butter (diced into tiny pieces). We decided to use 1/2 cup of oats in place of nuts, because Phillip and I both love oats! I also was not thrilled about using an entire stick of butter in this, but I figured we rarely eat or make dessert so we decided to splurge. We also subbed Granny Smith apples for the Fujis we had picked. The crisp baked for 1hr and 15mins and then it was ready! We served it with some ice cream we had in the fridge. Yum!

The final task of the day was carving our pumpkin! When I was a kid, my mom would always clean and roast the seeds while we carved our pumpkins so that when we were all done, the pumpkin seeds would be ready for us! They were never anything fancy but I loved them. After scooping out all the seeds and cleaning off the gook from the pumpkin, we put the seeds on a baking sheet, sprinkled with salt, then baked on 300 degrees for about 45 minutes, flipping the seeds every 10 minutes or so. So simple and so good. While the seeds were in the oven I was able to carve our pumpkin. We decided to do Sylvester and Tweety since that is what we are dressing up as for Halloween! Such a fun Fall weekend!

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