Friday, October 30, 2009

Apples, Apples, Apples

The season of fresh veggies and fruits is starting to wind down as we enter the colder months of Fall. The farmer's market still has a wonderful selection of herbs, squash, and other veggies; but every week we can count the items that are fading away as the season comes to a close. However, one favorite has only gotten better as the weeks have gone by this chilly October: Apples

Tom, myself, and his parents all made the trek out to Curtis Orchards to pick up some delicious Champaign grown apples.

Curtis Orchard is the Disneyland of apple picking in Champaign County. Not only do they boast a large orchard for all to enjoy the picking of fruit, they also have an amusement area for the kiddies where you can feed goats, attempt a maze, ride some ponies, or mine for treasure. As a result this orchard can get very CROWDED. My best experiences have been waiting until after Halloween to visit the orchard, since they also have a large pumpkin patch people. Of course, since Tom's parents were in town we ended up going during the big Halloween crowd, but it was still a great time.

Here's a tip, it's cheaper to buy the pre-picked apples then pick them yourself (which is a bit of a drawback on the fun, but easier to get quality fruit).

Check out the bushel of apples we bought at Curtis Orchard:

Of course a couple of my other favorite items from the orchard are the homemade apple cider (100% Curtis Orchard apples), and the delicious apple donuts.

photos from

We've made and devoured an apple pie, and today I'll be making some apple cake.

Fun ways to use your apples everyday:
  • Grate apples and add them to a salad for an added sweet crunch
  • Slice them thin and put them on a sandwich
  • Homemade applesauce!
  • Baked Apples (just core an apple and toss in some vegan-butter, sugar and cinnamon. put in the oven on a low heat and let bake for 20-30 minutes) yum!
  • Chopped up over oatmeal or cereal
  • Heat in a sauce pan with a little brown sugar to make a delicious topping for pancakes and waffles
  • and of course the classics: pie, cake, crips, crumble, brown betty, donuts, muffins, etc.

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