September 27, 2014

Fall Traditions

There are so many things that I love about Fall !  The crisp, cool air means I can keep out my capris and sandals, but I also get to bring out the sweaters and hoodies.  Of course, it's the perfect time of year for a backyard fire.  The air smells of cookouts and campfires and of crisp leaves under foot.  And the house smells of apples and cinnamon.
I love baking every month of the year, but there is something about buying apples and picking pumpkins that makes me a little more ambitious.  In October I look forward to sharing some new pumpkin recipes with you.  While I'm not freezing bushels of apples like last year, we have already been filling our freezer with bags of apples.  I'm also excited to share a variation of my traditional apple crisp that's healthier but still sooo delicious.

There would be no apple desserts without the apples though.  Last year we started a new tradition of visiting Wisconsin apple orchards.  We were joined this year and last by a number of family members from the Midwest.  The drive this morning was especially beautiful as the fog burned off while we drove through the hills.
The kids love tasting and buying apples, but the main talk of the morning is always of the delicious apple donuts from Gays Mills' Sunrise Orchards.  After snacking on a few, we were off to the sunflower corn maze at Kickapoo Orchard.  It's so wonderful to see the children's delight in a few simple pleasures.
credit: Thanks to Holly Friedman for capturing the pure joy of the apple cider donut!

This year we got an early start on freezing apples, because of the generosity of my parents' neighbor.  My oldest was thrilled to have the opportunity to climb their apple trees and to help his grandpa fill a wheelbarrow full of fresh Iowa apples.  My parents sent two bags home with us, and I got straight to baking an apple dessert!

When the kids were younger, we used to visit a pumpkin patch in Iowa.  It was a wonderful tradition, but we stopped going as they got older.  Last year, there was a perfect little patch to pick your own pumpkins by the apple orchard.  Unfortunately, this year it was no longer there.  We did find a lot of pumpkins that had already been picked and some beautiful fall foliage for photographs... one of my favorite activities.  But, there is one more item remaining on the checklist: find a new place for the boys to find the largest, most perfect pumpkin to carve this October.  The boys did help me pick out a variety of gourds and small pumpkins to decorate in the house and outside.  We look forward to doing that tomorrow.

  • What are your favorite Fall traditions?
  • Do you bake more this time of year? 
  • What are your favorite Fall sights, sounds, and smells?
Related Reading:
Reasons to Create Family Traditions

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