Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Appreciating fall

I have decided that this year will be the year that I learn to love fall.

I've never been terribly fond of it before. It's cold and wet and chilly. The fresh berries are gone. The trees lose their leaves. Winter starts looming.

(Oh, how I detest winter.)

But no. This year I will enjoy fall. And so far I have. It was helped along by my growing interest in food and sustainability. What grows in what season? What should I look for? What are the local farmers selling now? What new in-season foods can I add to our menu? What new recipes can I try?

Last week it was apple butter and apple sauce. Nothing fancy, but I've never made either before so it was exciting enough for me. Tonight it was roasted butternut squash. That stuff is delicious!

I've also been enjoying apple cider this month. This intrigues me, as I've always hated apple juice. To be perfectly honest, it looks and smells like pee. Which makes me think it tastes like pee. But apple cider? YUM.

Fall also means the return of the pumpkin hat! Oh pumpkin hat, how I adore thee. (Though not nearly as much as I adore the little boy whose head you sit upon.)



Fall means carpets of leaves to wade through in the wooded area behind our house.



Why have I never properly appreciated this place before? It's beautiful. Our own secret land to explore...



...or just to admire as we sit and contemplate.



So I've decided - fall isn't so bad after all.

Perhaps next year I can work on appreciating winter too.


Apple Butter

Peel and quarter 10 apples and place in large pot.



Add:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups apple juice
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves



Admire your spice rack for the umpteenth time.



Heat all ingredients to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Mash apples. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour more, stirring occasionally.



Cool for 2 hours and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks (alternatively, freeze or can it). Serve with the most amazing biscuits ever. Make a mental note to thank your MIL for that Betty Crocker cookbook.




Applesauce

Peel and quarter 4 apples and place in crock pot.



You'll notice mine are unpeeled. Big mistake. I'd read that they were easier to peel after they had been cooked. Again - big mistake. It didn't even give my applesauce the nice "rosy glow" I had been promised. Next time, I peel my apples before cooking them.

Add:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg



Cover and cook on High for 2 hours or until apples are tender. Stir/mash/puree to desired consistency.



Store in fridge (or can it).



I'm beginning to love fall.



Next up - making pumpkin bread with that cute little pie pumpkin. Assuming I don't change my mind and decide to make pumpkin butter instead. Or pumpkin pie. Or pumpkin cookies.

Oh, the decisions.

9 comments:

  1. I love Fall,but it's nothing like where you live. It's not freezing,so I understand why you haven't liked it in the past. :) But oh the beauty in those pictures,Cynthia! Wow! I wish it looked that way here,but it doesn't ever. You're blessed to have that beauty! That Applebutter looks yummy! I need to try to make some!

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  2. I've always loved the fall. Mostly because the leaves change. I'm not so happy when they fall off. I'm glad your trying to love fall.

    I love those pictures of Jacob playing in the leaves. Perfect fall pictures. I love his little pumpkin hat. I'd like to get one like that for my little boy to wear next year. :)

    Mmmm that apple butter and apple sauce looks soooo good! I will have to try that. I love fall foods. Btw, apple juice has been one of those things I've been craving lately. hehe

    I can't wait to read about the pumpkin bread. I love ANYTHING pumpkin! ;)

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  3. I'm glad you're learning to love fall. I've always loved fall (maybe because my birthday is smack dab in the middle of it).

    Anyway I LOVE apple butter and I'm so glad you posted this recipe because I wanted to convince my husband we should go apple picking, now I have some fuel to ignite the fire.

    I'm also looking forward to the pumpkin recipes! Oh and the pictures of your little man are SO cute! He's such a doll! His pumpkin hat is adorable!

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  4. Those pictures are gorgeous and your dson is precious! I love how the leaves start to change in the fall. I'll bet your son loves making piles and jumping in the leaves!

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  5. Linked to your blog via a comment you left on Blue Yonder. Don't you love making apple butter and apple sauce? They make the whole house smell SOO yummy. Fall is my favorite season - i'm glad it's growin' on you!

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  6. whee did you get the spice rack? I LOVE it!

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  7. Liberty, the spice rack is a bunch of magnetic containers I found at the bulk food store. I bought a bunch of them and just add more whenever I find I need a new spice (which I usually buy at the bulk food store as well). It has been much cheaper to buy my spices this way!

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  8. Oh what beautiful photos of Jacob. I just love that orange hat on him, too.

    I am impressed with the apple butter and applesauce! I really must try that myself!

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