Thursday, October 3, 2013

Adventures in Apple Picking

On Tuesday-- after Pumpkin Pop-Tarts, some errands, and a Spooky Taco Salad for lunch (I'll share more with you next week)-- Jason and I bundled up, piled in the car and drove 45 minutes to Woodburn to pick some apples.

It was the first activity on our Halloween Advent Calendar (I'll tell you more about that tomorrow!)

It took me about an hour of googling to discover there aren't really any great apple picking spots in the Portland Metro Area.  My two choices were Hood River (45 minutes east of Portland) or Woodburn (45 minutes-ish south of Portland).   I chose the Bielke Family Farm for two reasons. 1.) Because my friend Jessica had been their in September and shared her delicious Honey Crisp apple with me.  2.) Because I liked that it was a family farm with a cute little old man who's been running it since the 1950's.  And let me tell you folks, his cuteness did not disappoint!

We weaved through the different rows of apples picking a few as we went!   We got some Galas, Jonagolds, Gold Delicious, Granny Smith and Rome Apples.  We only planned to pick a bucket full... but we wound up picking two buckets full of apples.

It was a fun day to do something we hadn't before.  And picking apples was so easy.  They just fell right into our hands.

Quite the haul, huh?

We rolled our apple treasures to the car and loaded them into plastic bags as we chatted up the farm owner.  He told us, "That's a lot of apples!  What are you going to do with all of them?"  Well, sir-- we made apple cider yesterday, caramel apples this morning, my mom made a pie for us yesterday, we're going to eat some of them... and I don't know what we're going to do with the rest :)

Now, because a lot of you follow my Facebook and Twitter, you saw my post about making apple cider yesterday.  Many of you asked for the recipe, so here it is:

Courtesy: Baker Betty
We came home last night to the delicious smell of cider, and had a little taste.  I might suggest leaving out one of the oranges and adding the brown sugar.  Ours was a little too citrusy.

Today, we also made caramel apples, and while I just posted it on my Facebook and Twitter, I know that you'll be asking for the recipe... so here you go:

Courtesy: Cooking Light
We rolled ours in peanuts.  Also, my caramel turned out thin and drippy... but they're delicious :)

It's a been a great few days!  I can't wait to share more about our Halloween Advent Calendar.  Stay tuned tomorrow, to learn how to make your own.

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