Thursday, October 16, 2008

Apples, Apples, Apples

You may recall, that I briefly mentioned (during a much more important post about TV!) that we went apple picking. In fact, it deserves more than such a slight mention!!

We joined 2 close friends and their 3 kids, and hit a great apple orchard/commercial fall play area known as Apple Holler. It's fun, it's a good size, and it's not too far from home. We met there after lunch early last week. The 5 kids get along WONDERFULLY! Seriously. Trevor loves the one girl who is his age. We tackily (is that a word?) joke that they are boyfriend and girlfriend (I swore I wouldn't do that as a mom! Ooops!), and he acts like a big brother to the other little girl. Blake
usually doesn't mind much who we are with, and this time was no exception.

We walked and we walked, and finally found a section with apples still for picking. It was somewhat surprising how few there were, as it was early in the season. We ended up picking 1/2 a bushel for us, and the other 2 mom's shared a 1/2 bushel.

Note for next year: don't be greedy....share!! 1/2 a bushel is too much for us!

Eventually, we found a great section and picked and picked and picked.... Jonathon's and Golden Delicious. The kids ate and ate as we picked, and I think in the end Blake had 3 BIG apples! Then of course, it was time for the commercial play-time. We shelled out money for 'train' rides (a lawn tractor pulling wagons), a maze, pony rides, and more. But the kids really had a good time, so I guess it was worth it.

We brought home our 1/2 bushel, and stuck them in the extra fridge. T & B also got to pick out 1 item from the gift shop, and they chose....Taffy Apples. (An aside, Steve and I have discovered another East coast/mid-west difference: Candy vs Taffy Apples. Holy Hannah....I had no idea it was such a big deal. It's an apple covered with sugar....move on people!!).

Fast forward 1 week...

Oops, I still have 1/2 a bushel of apples in my fridge. Now what do I do????

Ah....make Applesauce, Apple Crisp, and Carmel Apple Bars. YUMMY! The applesauce recipe is an easy one, I found on The Apple Crisp recipe comes from Grandma, and I'm not sure I can share it.... oops, bad blogging protocol probably, but there ya go. Old family secret and all! But the Carmel Apple Bars, well I found that one in the newspaper, so I'll share, willingly.

The kids helped make all 3. They really enjoy mashing the apples for the applesauce after they were cooked down... they really enjoyed that. But it was a little to messy for a photo op (don't want to get the camera covered in apples!). They helped mix and pour all the other things to, but again, I'm not good at getting photos while coordinating recipes! And most importantly (to my sanity and fingernails), they unwrapped all 14 ounces of carmels for the Carmel Apple Bars!! Yay!!

Carmel Apple Bars
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional-I didn't use)
4 1/2 cups chopped, peeled apples
14 oz carmels
3 tbsp margarine

Cream together 1/2 cup margarine and brown sugar. Add flour, oats, salt, baking soda and mix well. Stir in pecans. Set aside 2 cups of this mixture. Press remaining mix in greased 9x13 pan.
Toss apples in 3 tbsp flour. Spoon over crust.
Melt carmels and margarine together. Drizzle over apples. Top with rest of flour/oat mixture.
Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting.

Oh my's like heaven. ESPECIALLY, to a pregnant woman who hasn't been craving any food, or even wanting to eat. I could eat the whole 9x13 pan of this tonight!! Time to stop blogging, and eat!

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