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Falling for Apples & Pumpkins

September + Cool Temps + Family = Apple Picking Excursion

When the family is all together we’ve got to pack as much fun and together-time in as we can, so….even though there was some grumbling about the early hour, we managed to be first in line for apple picking at R & A Orchards in Ellijay.

The trees were laden:

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And we were laden too!  The orchards are rolling and gorgeous and in no time we picked four pecks of Mutsu, Red Rome Beauty, Stayman Winesap, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious.  Of course we ate our share of each variety – at least one of each kind.  Apple bloat-us.

We forgot to pick up anything from the obligatory farm store, so down the road we popped into the B. J. Reece Apple House for some hot fried apple pies, apple slushies and muscadine slushies.  Overkill?  Yes.  Necessary?  Yes.

We thought we’d hike it all off at Amicalola Falls Park but the traffic just to get inside was insane.  Not sure about you, but I’m not a fan of crowded hiking, so we shelved that plan for another weekend and much to my middle son’s dismay (Sunday afternoon football), we headed to Burt’s Pumpkin Farm.

A twenty year tradition in our family, Burt’s is fun but it fills up fast.  And it’s not a quick visit.  And it was crowded.  But we bypassed the hayrides, skipped the sweets, and focused on choosing pumpkins.  They have A LOT to choose from (and you can’t even see the interesting varieties).

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We chose well and headed home, weary and stuffed and satisfied.  Can you guess what I cooked up for dinner?

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What you can see (clockwise top to bottom):

  • cinnamon stick
  • brussels sprout leaves & stem ends
  • 5 red raspberry herbal tea bags
  • carrot peels
  • lemon half
  • butternut squash peel & stem end
  • sweet pepper tops & ribs
  • stem end of fennel bulb
  • kale tough stems

What you can’t see:

  • Lots of russet potato peels

What I made with all of that:

Lots of roasted veggies including a carrot & fennel combo, mashed potatoes, and roasted butternut squash on cider sauteed kale with bacon.  Yum.  It was so good I took a photo.

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Can you see why?  The perfect end to a perfect day.  Make your fall perfect too!

 

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Scrumptious Spring Scraps

This bucket almost looks like my shopping basket at the farmers market … except, if you look closely, these goodies are decidedly wilted, dried out, and moldering.  Plus, I’m not in the habit of buying just eggshells.  You?

Things you can see (clockwise starting from top):

  • rose petals from my daily garden bouquets
  • thyme stems
  • garlic skins
  • eggshells
  • kale stems
  • half a lemon
  • stem & core of a red pepper
  • blueberries that look fine here but were sitting in a closed lunchbox for two days – disgusting trust me!Image

What you can’t see:

  • lots more rose petals & leaves
  • 2 onion skins
  • too dirty to get clean mushroom stems
  • 2 banana peels
  • battered outer leaves of romaine lettuce
  • several more juiced lemons

What I made with all of this:

  • Banana Smoothie (noticing a pattern here?)
  • Lemonade (because it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!)
  • Romaine Salad with Peppers, Black Olives, Feta & Creamy Herb Dressing
  • Kale, Mushrooms & Black Eyed Peas with Onion & Garlic (super yummy btw)
  • Scrambled Cheesy Eggs

Notice how the colors scream S-P-R-I-N-G?  Fresh greens, beautiful new roses, spring chicken eggs … ahhh, colorful compost bliss.  What’s in your bucket today?

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in The Daily Bucket

 

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