I deal with Minnesota’s “season who will not be named” in two ways: dread and denial. I’m like a schizophrenic squirrel. One minute, I’m wearing flip-flops in 40 degree weather, the next I’m hoarding craft supplies and canned foods like we’ll never see the sky again. As a part of the denial process, I embrace any and all outdoor fall activities. (Maybe its dread too either way if its outside, I’m on it.) One of my favorites is picking apples. This year we went back to Pleasant Valley Orchard, where we picked strawberries this summer (see U Pick I Pick U). Shafer is a bit of a hike but the ride out is beautiful, the people are nice and the crowds are nil. We had a glorious day. In addition to plucking way too many apples, the boys climbed on hay bales, “drove” the tractor, and bounced around on a nice long hay ride.
To help prevent an apple overdose I attempted some Vitamix applesauce (aka I’m too lazy to cook the apples but I didn’t want them raw either.) The result was a hot apple slushy. I can’t recommend it but a little spiced rum makes everything better. I did succeed in making a delicious apple crisp. My secret is half the apples, twice the crisp.
P.S. This weekend they have Honeycrisp apples! If you don’t know why that’s so wonderful you have some apple eating to do.