Monday, October 15, 2012

Apples to Apples

I've had a lovely day.  Nothing on the calendar, just a cozy day spent baking while the rain falls softly on the golden woods outside my kitchen window.

On Saturday hubs and I went apple picking with some friends who've recently relocated to our area from the UK.  The sky was a glorious shade of blue and there wasn't a cloud in site.

It was chilly, not even 50 degrees, but we dressed for the weather and enjoyed autumn in the country.

I took a lot of pictures and the men did most of the picking.  The best are always up high which requires a tool we call 'the grabber'.  Not sure if that's the proper name, but it's fitting.  Any apples the grabber couldn't grab were snagged the old fashioned way.  

When was the last time you climbed a tree?  

Besides all the picking there was also a little juggling-

and some baseball too-

or Cricket depending on your country of origin.

The surrounding mountains and scenery were beautiful. Days like this one make me thankful I live in an area that experiences all four seasons.

We picked a lot of apples.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the beauty of the outdoors that I forget I'll need to actually do something with the bushel we bring home.

On Sunday I used about a dozen making applesauce in my crockpot and will probably do another batch later this week.  Today I decided to bake,  and since I signed up to bring snack to my weekly Bible Study group tomorrow and had all these apples,  I settled on what is known as Jewish Apple Cake. I'm not sure of the origin of the name, but it is delicious. A layer of batter, a layer of apples, a layer of cinnamon-sugar, repeat and bake.  

Course, I got the oven preheated and was measuring the ingredients out and was totally in the zone when I realized I didn't have enough sugar in the house.  Does this happen to anyone besides me?  Remove apron, put on shoes, turn off the oven and zip down to the store for sugar and another bag of flour, just in case.  Too bad I didn't also pick up more vegetable oil, just in case. Oi.

I ended up substituting some of my homemade applesauce for the oil so catastrophe averted.  Or at least another trip to the store averted.  Whatever.  I re-don my apron, set the oven to preheat and finally got the cake in the oven.

While that was baking I decided to try my hand at an apple pie with a homemade crust.  I haven't made a crust from scratch in eons and it was so satisfying.  Homemaking is underrated.  As I was putting the crust together, the phone rang so I took
thirty  ten to catch up with my mom.  While we were gabbing Daughter1 phoned so I said goodbye to my mom and hello to my girl and prayed that pie crust wasn't doing anything funny mid-prep.

Hubs has some out of town travel this week and I figured it wouldn't be wise to have an entire apple pie sitting around, just asking to be eaten all by my lonesome. I put it together, triple wrapped it in saran topped with foil,  and slid it into a crock pot bag before freezing.  Other online suggestions were to use a turkey bag-you need something big.

I read the pie would be more flavorful if its frozen pre-baking but either way works.  Ask me after Thanksgiving how it tasted.  Assuming I remember to pull it out and bake it of course.

Are you a neat cook?  I am what might affectionately be called a 'hot mess' in the kitchen.  Hubs, if you're reading this look away.

How does that saying go...'a messy kitchen is the sign of a creative mind'?  I'm sure that's true, and apparently I'm a genius-ha! I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed making this mess.  I need more days like this one.  Relaxed cooking clears the cobwebs. There is room for deep thinking or no thinking if you prefer.  I even enjoyed washing the dishes and hosing down the counters.'s spic and span.
Or spic and spain as we say in our house.
Hi girls!

The only other thing this day needs is a cuppa sipped in my sun room before I have to think about dinner.

Reminds me of that other saying, 'A woman's work is never done.'
Also true.


  1. Wow! I'm impressed with your baking! The pics made my mouth water! Good job!

  2. Oh no, I have never had to stop to run to the store mid-bake. Haha. I hate when that happens.:)
    Your baking looks delicious. Very impressive, and you will have to share the recipes. The pie is beautiful. What a great autumn weekend you enjoyed. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a cozy day you had. The Jewish apple cake looks good.:)

  4. What a fun way to pass a rainy fall day - my kitchen is a mess when I am baking! Have you ever heard of the game called Apples to Apples? That is what I thought you were going to be posting about when I saw your title :) But a trip to the orchard and baked apple goodies is even better :)

  5. I'd bet that apple pie will taste EXTRA good because you and your friends picked those apples! Loved seeing the process via your photos. I LOVE to bake, and like you, I find it very fulfilling.

  6. I tend to be a neat cook but there are always a lot of dishes to do. Way to go on baking and making apple sauce. Looks like you had a great time with your friends. We went to the apple orchards and bought our apples. Not sure what I will do with them since I'm low carb these days but we will definitely be eating them! If I remember I will remind you about your pie for Thanksgiving.

  7. Wish when i rad stuff like this that i didnt have a gluten allergy. Yes, it is making a big difference in my health, but there are few things i like better than homemade apple pie with lattice crust. Oh and i feel kindred spirit with you looking at your hot mess. I really must show my hubby since he is convinced i am the. Messiest.cook.on.the.coast. i think food tastes better when the counters have evidence of life and love all around. Or at least thats my excuse and im sticking to it.

  8. Oh, I love days like that too and I sort of had one yesterday afternoon. I made up a bunch of breakfast sandwiches for Hubby and then my 4th batch of fudge for the holidays. I love the look of that cake and may just have to make one soon. I'm making a PUmpkin Dump Cake tomorrow.Happy week to you!

  9. I tend to take everything out I need for a recipe and then put it all back as I use it. Then, at the end, I just have the wash up without the put up. But it still gets to be a MESS. I really want to try that Jewish apple cake- thanks for the link! I feel like I want to move up your way- what with all your autumn activities and baking!

  10. Lovely! I am craving fall things!

  11. I could almost smell your cake baking! It looks delicious, as I'm sure it will be.

    Picking apples is something I've always wanted to do, but will have to travel to north Georgia to have the experience! In the meantime, I'll have to settle for picking peaches in the summertime.

  12. Super jealous of your day. I need a baking day!

  13. beautiful pics; would love to have a piece of your pie...i made a phyllo dough tort today with my apples ;)

  14. For a second there, I was wondering whether you were gracing us with another picture of your "favorite" tree. How wonderful to go apple picking ... and then being able to do something with them besides cutting them into wedges. (That would be my specialty.)

  15. Great post.... what a wonderful day!
    Love, Jan

  16. A piece of your pie or cake and a cup of tea sounds SCRUMTRULESCENT!

  17. What a blessing that God gave us so much variety in nature! What a beautiful day you had. A visit to the orchard or pumpkin patch in October gives one a warm, glowy (??) sort of feeling. LOVE that mug!

    Thanks for stopping by Cranberry Morning.

  18. Great pictures from the orchard. It's been a long time since I've been in an orchard. The cake and pie look good. Too bad we don't live closer...I'd be glad to come help you with that pie (the eating, not the cooking). :)

    Have a great day!

  19. Yum!! And I LOVE the candy corn centerpiece. But I am afraid it would be just a candle very quickly in my house :)

  20. ...and now I feel that I really must have that mug! Especially after this week of "teach my kids not to take advantage of mom by me going on strike"

  21. I love the series of apple picking photos; you can so clearly see the fun you had!
    Joyce, will you post the recipe for the Jewish Apple Cake?

  22. Joyce, the photos of apple picking are terrific. Would you consider sending me the recipe for the Jewish apple cake? It looks scrumptious.

  23. I love a good apple pie! And especially with home made crust. Yours looks really delicious. I hope you don't forget to bake it.