Saturday, October 1, 2011


We've done it two years in a row now so it's officially a tradition!!

Can't you tell how excited she is??

About 15 minutes away there is a little family owned apple orchard called Heinz Orchard that reminds me a bit of the blueberry farm we loved in Nacogdoches. We seem to have fallen into two traditions revolving around Heinz. First is the annual Moms and Tots outing from our church. Apple picking is GREAT with toddlers. There are a lot of low branches, the apples snap off pretty easily, and the bag fills up quickly! We typically end with a little picnic and the kids run in the fields and pick flowers. It's nice to have some "country" experiences here.

Last year it was so much fun, that a friend and I ended up with WAY too many apples and decided to learn to can applesauce. This too has become part of the tradition. We make the spiced applesauce from The Joy of Cooking, and simply mash it really well with a fork. I say I like my applesauce really chunky, and while that is probably true, I'm also too cheap to spring for a food mill. I seriously hope I don't poison my family with a poor canning incident. In a dream world I would have enough time to pick 4 times as many apples and can applesauce for Christmas presents.

The second tradition is actually a bit longer standing than 2 years. Thomas and I have baked an apple pie on the first day(ish) of Fall throughout our marriage. The tradition is greatly enhanced by picking our own apples :). No pics of this outing because it was raining and cold. We met our good friend Eileen (she is also an integral part of the pie baking tradition) who awesomely spotted the mice family living in the apple tree- so cute!!

Eileen and I get together as close to the first day of Fall as possible and make pies. We freeze one or two and bake one. Typically I use the apple pie and crust recipe from my grandma's old Better Homes Cookbook. I finally detached myself enough from the sentimentality of the event and tried a new recipe from this book. The crust was much easier to handle and the recipe for apple cider infused apple pie was a hit.

We like serving our pie with a piece of good quality cheddar. Thankfully, Eden liked it too! I LOVE passing on traditions :).

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