Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy Fall, Ya'll | Apple Picking

I love summer. However, I'm really trying to embrace the beauty and colors of fall and start some new family traditions, so last Sunday (the first day of fall!) we went apple picking!

My family and I headed to nearby Milburn Orchards in Elkton, Maryland. Apparently there are tons of kid-friendly activities, but since we were traveling with a non-walking toddler who is getting over a sinus infection, we kept it simple and did a little apple picking and farm market shopping.

Max got to enjoy the orchard from the comfort of daddy's chest, thanks to a sturdy baby carrier.

As much as I love gardening, I had not ever been apple picking. I think it was worth the experience and I'd love to make this a family tradition.

Milburn Orchards has different varieties of apples available for picking each week, starting in September. This past weekend there were a few Jonagolds and plenty of Red and Golden Delicious. We picked mostly Golden Delicious because they are versatile and can be eaten raw, cooked into applesauce or baked into desserts.

We parked our car in the orchard, took a short walk to a wagon that carted about 20 of us deep into the orchard. Each person was given a sturdy plastic bag and instructions on where to find each variety of apple. You pay for what you pick. There's a ten pound minimum per family and apples are $1.55/pound.

I was pleased to find out the the apple trees are small (apparently they are some type of dwarf tree), so you can easily reach the apples without climbing or straining. 

So, um.... apparently I we got carried away because we picked 30 pounds of apples. You do the math. Tip for future apple picking trips: one plastic bag = 10 pounds. Good thing they accept debit cards in the orchard!

Despite the fact that we picked enough apples to last an entire season, we managed to lug them back to our car before checking out the farm market. We picked up a half dozen apple cider donuts (worth the cash and the calories), some fresh apple cider, and an apple walnut caramel pie. Everything was tasty and we definitely got our apple fix.

Our surplus apples are currently stored in well-ventilated crates in our cool basement. Over the next several weeks I'm looking forward to using them in all kinds of fall recipes.

Has anyone else been apple picking? Apparently this is a "thing" that I somehow didn't know was a big deal.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Potluck for ShopRite | Beef Stew

Happy (almost) fall, ya'll!

Summer is my favorite season, so I'll admit I'm feeling a little down about saying goodbye to locally grown sweet, fresh fruit, beach days, Max's baby pool on the deck, backyard barbecues on hot nights, and endless sunny days. However, since autumn arrives this week I'm trying to look forward to all the highlights of the upcoming season. I've already enjoyed a pumpkin spice latte, I put up a little bit of fall decor over the weekend and we're planning to go apple picking for the first time this year.

I am part of a team of bloggers who contribute to a blog for my favorite regional grocery store, ShopRite. The blog is called Potluck and I review products and typically write a post every month for the site. I'm proud to say that I've been part of this project for three years. My latest post is a beef stew that's perfect for fall. Hop on over to Potluck and check out my latest post!
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