Orchards of denial

Here in Michigan we are beginning to leave summer behind as we head into the season of denial autumn. The season where everyone is aglow with anticipation of changing leaves, cheap Halloween candy at the supermarkets, and big Thanksgiving feasts. We pull out our vests and sweaters and smile as we slip on our socks after a summer of flip flops and tank tops.

Oh how we forget about winter. How we- incredibly- manage to push out of our minds the next six months which will be filled with icy winds and sloppy wet snow. Do we not remember how we longed- only three short months ago- to wear shorts? To not live in a constant state of hat head? To go for a walk with our kids without scarves, hats, boots, snow pants, coats, and mittens that always.fall.off? To wake up after the sunrise instead of hours before it?

No. We do not remember. We LOVE fall, here in Michigan.

We are experts of denial.

I love summer. LOVE it. It's hard for me to say goodbye. So I'm embracing the best parts of this season of denial and yesterday for the very first time in all my Northern years, I went apple picking.
Lately Arie has been imitating a tiger by growing "LARR!" which is basically the least scary sound he could make.
And most adorable. 
We went with our dear friends the Penny family who recently moved back to Michigan living in Oklahoma for a number of years.  The first time we had a cool night in July, my friend Leanne was reveling in the fact that she could wear a hoodie. In July. If anyone can remind me how to embrace autumn, it's her.

Maybe it was the fact that the temps outside were still almost hitting 70 degrees (21 for my Canadian readers), but the experience for me was all, "Oh yea! I love fall." Apples, cider, donuts. Playing outside without heatstroke. No sunscreen needed. Sunsets that happen early enough to be witnessed by little eyes. Yea. I remember why we forget about winter. Autumn is just that awesome.

Apple orchards must be where fairies live. Especially old ones like this where the trees are so tall and full, you can hardly see through to the other side.

You already know how I love strawberry fields. Apple orchards now coming in a close second.

Our kids ate apples like they were candy! My super slow little eater took 56 minutes that afternoon to eat a half cup of parmesan pasta for lunch and then mowed an apple as big as his face in 10 minutes. This place is magical.

After we had picked our fill, we broke out a picnic dinner...
... complete with apple cider and cider donuts because it's the whole experience, you know.
When our bellies were full, we followed our kids to the playground and spun them around because spinning and jumping and running is exactly what good parents do with their kids right after a meal. Only one of us had to change their clothes during this portion of the night and you could argue that it wasn't related. ;-) 

We finished the night, appropriately, with a sunset on the beach. The rule was that you could play in the sand but not in the water... however all three kids had to change some portion of clothing after that. Worth it? Oh yes.

Autumn, denial, whatever you call it. Loving it.


PS: If anyone has a great applesauce or apple pie or apple anything recipe... I'm looking. 


  1. Anonymous9/18/2013

    Um, I think I need to move to Michigan... <3

    1. Totally. Otherwise check back in February and March and that will cure your desires. ;-)

  2. Beautiful photos!! Also, thanks for the celsius conversion ;)

    I love Apple Dapple cake, it is a change from pie. Don't worry, no calories in this at all ;)


  3. Applesauce is definitely the easiest, and arguably the most delicious, fall apple treat to make! Just peel and chop however many apples you have, toss them in a pot, add a teensy bit of water (just enough to keep the apples from sticking to the pan until they start releasing their own juice), and a dash or two or three of cinnamon, and cook on low stirring occasionally until the apples are the consistency you like. I like mine a bit chunky, I think I usually cook it maybe 45-60 minutes. Empire apples are my favorite because they are a bit tart, but the sweeter the apple the sweeter the sauce no sugar necessary

    1. Also freezes really well!

    2. And makes your house smell like fall, so much nicer than a fall scented candle! Can you tell I love making applesauce? Lol!

    3. Anonymous9/18/2013

      Apple Bread is a great treat!

  4. Anonymous9/19/2013

    Check out Grandma Opal's Apple Pie on allrecipes.com. SO yummy! Someone asks me for the recipe every time I make it.

  5. I got this recipe years ago from a friend of mine and make it every year to celebrate fall...hope you enjoy it!

    Butternut Squash & Apple Soup Recipe

    3T Butter 2 Golden Delicious apples
    2 medium yellow onions 5 cups chicken broth
    1 large butternut squash 2 cups of apple juice
    Cinnamon Allspice
    Nutmeg Salt & Pepper

    Melt 3T Butter in a saucepan. Add 2 finely chopped medium yellow onions. Cook until translucent.

    Poke outside of 1 large butternut squash and bake at 350º for an hour. After it cools, peel it, take out the seeds and cut up. Add the squash to the onions and mash it with a masher.

    Peel, de-seed and chop the golden delicious apples. Add the apples to the soup and squash mixture. Saute. Add 2 ½ cups of chicken broth. Let simmer for 20 mins. Then mash again or blend in blender. Add the other 2 ½ cups of chicken broth. Add 2 cups of apple juice. Add a dash of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste. Heat again.


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