fall fest

Readers! It’s so good to be with you again, after getting completely sidelined by an ugly cold and playing catch-up on chores.

Last Saturday (yes, a whole week ago–I said I was behind on all my daily tasks) I went apple- and pumpkin-picking with three dear friends. We had all gotten Groupons to a farm in Virginia, at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. So, I requested a day off work, packed up my recipes and pie plate, and ventured into the countryside. Now, this weekend is actually the fall color peak weekend in the Shenandoah Valley, but we were definitely not disappointed. We pulled into the pumpkin-patch-turned-parking-lot at Hollin Farm and selected pumpkins for carving and eating, as well as fall vegetables. I got a little table-top pumpkin, a handful of gourds, and a nice big bag of arugula and bok choy. Yum!

Little apartment = little pumpkin

After a run through a corn maze with beautiful views of the orchards and mountains, it was on to a small apple orchard to pick tasty fruit off the trees and go on a hay-ride. Imagine my surprise when we pulled up and were greeted by a crowd of people with their show-quality basset hounds! They are very friendly (people and puppies), and I wanted to take a furry friend home with me, but my friends kindly reminded me that my apartment is pets-free, so we moved on to the apples. The hay ride, or Hay Odyssey, as it came to be known, was absolutely gorgeous. We spent about half an hour hitched to a tractor and going up and down the hills. After a somewhat awkward moment when we were invited to a Saturday-evening country church service, we filled our peck-bags with apples for cooking and snacking on. A quick trip to a third orchard for cider and a variety of jams and preserves rounded out the countryside part of the day.

Apple orchard as seen from the Hay Odyssey

Back in civilization, it was Baking Time! I had put together a big collection of recipes for pumpkin bread, pumpkin waffles, apple crisp, apple sangria, etc., so we set to work on some bread and pie. Let me tell you, scraping and shredding an eating pumpkin is no easy task! It was by far the longest part of the baking time. We put together two loaves of pumpkin-chocolate-chip bread and an apple pie, complete with Margaret’s mom’s homemade crust recipe. Tomorrow I’ll type up the recipes we used so you, Dear Reader, can join in the Fall Fun. Maybe I’ll throw in the apple sangria one as well. Friends: have you gone, or are you planning on going, fruit- and vegetable-picking this fall? What is your top fall recipe?

Hard at work on the pumpkin. Please take note of my school spirit!

P.S. In keeping with this delicious-themed post, La Petite Pancake is giving away an Ina Garten cookbook and an exciting new rolling pin! Winner picked tomorrow, so enter now!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kat
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 17:39:01

    I don’t know if I have a favorite fall recipe yet…but I really want to try roasting pumpkins and then stuffing them with risotto. That seems to be The Thing To Try in the blog-world this year.


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