My kids and I LOVE apple season. Apples are G’s favorite fruit. Plus, it’s just FUN to pick fresh apples and bite into them right off of the tree. Unlike last year, this fall there is a bumper crop of apples. The trees at all the orchards are just laden with delicious apples. We’ve been to two apple orchards this fall so far. The first was Sutter’s Ridge, outside of Mt Horeb. This farm is a hidden little gem. It’s located at the end of an idyllic little lane winding through a woods, past horse pastures, a raspberry patch and the orchard. During the fall season, they are open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for U-pick apples, and the usual fun fall festival activities. Each year, this place adds a few details that make it a nice place to visit. This year, we rode on a hay ride, picked the BEST honeycrisp apples and gala apples, and then played in the play barnyard they have set up. There are kittens and goats and other animals to see. There is a hay bale mountain to conquer, tricycles, a teepee, playhouses, a maze, a corn maze and more. It’s small and just right for young kids. I always recommend this place. Also, if you’ve read my raspberry post, you’ll realize this is the same place I recommend for raspberries. The raspberries are still going and my still be pickable until first frost!
Last weekend, we had an inaugural trip to the Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago to meet some good friends. What an orchard. This place has been around longer and has more established trees. Some are very big! The kids can climb the trees which is a big draw. Also, this farm is very okay with you just picking apples and eating them right off the tree. G probably ate 4 apples while picking. Maybe more!! There is a lovely hayride out to the orchard, and a pumpkin patch and corn maze as well. The shopping and food is phenomenal. SO many good choices for lunch and to take home. We had cider and sandwiches and caramel apples and cookies while there, and then brought home the most delicious pie ever. The place was CROWDED, but it was still a wonderful time, and I would go back. Also, for the train lovers in the family (read: O-man), you can hop on the East Troy Electric Railroad here for a ride. O loved it, of course. My little railfan.
As always, I’ll include an idea or three for your apples.
Number 1: Eat them. Straight. Yum. Delicious and juicy.
Number 2: Try this: Cut up slices, then put some sugar and cinnamon in a ziploc bag with the apple slices and shake it. The kids love this little treat. Both the shaking AND the eating.
Number 3: Make applesauce. There are a variety of ways to make applesauce but my favorite is Maple Cinnamon Applesauce in the slow cooker. It is super easy and makes the whole house smell divine. I then divide and freeze what I made. Or eat it up, depending on our mood. The inspiration for the applesauce and original recipe are here: http://www.sweetpeasandpumpkins.com/2009/09/slow-cooker-maple-cinnamon-applesauce.html . I usually end up omitting the lemon juice and the water and I eyeball the brown sugar, cinnamon and syrup. And let me just say, use real maple syrup. If there is one thing you splurge on in your pantry….it’s real maple syrup. Yum.