Bushels of Fun

Sunday, September 25, 2011
An “Apple Day” was a fall tradition in my home growing up, and this was the year to continue that with our own children.  A weekend drive to the North Carolina mountains welcomed in fall for the Smith household.
Sky Top Orchard has been recommended to me for years and it did not disappoint.
Lush acreage of a two dozen apple varieties ripe for the picking.
We strolled the rows of Jonathan, Mutsu, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith filling our baskets.  Baskets in hand.  Baby in sling.  Camera shutter snapping away.
Tart….sweet….red….green….yellow….
…for eating….dipping….baking….cooking….
These are the days I’ll fondly look back on when memories are all I have to keep me company…
….Little “half-pint” leaving bites in every apple she contributed to the baskets.
…the giggles of girls in the next row…the occasional chucking of a rotten apple from a mischievous brother and the squeals from the recipient on the other side of the tree…

….Izzy’s short strides trying to keep up with Daddy’s…..  
…Big kids shouldered bushel baskets brimming with apples….
…..Daddy’s strong shoulders boosting little ones to reach those just-out-of-reach perfect picks….
…Little Apple-Dumplin’ loving her first trip to the mountains….

….Tristans reaction to the apple fried donuts….um….YUM!!!….
….An old fashioned hayride through a bamboo forest and past a petting zoo made for a memorable afternoon….
We’ll be returning next year for sure!!

We have been BUSY with 40 lbs of fruit!!

Caramel Apples, Apple Strudel, Baked Apples, Apple Pancakes and perhaps our favorite…..
Caramel Glazed Apple Cake!!
A recipe you’ve GOT to try if you can get your hands on some tart apples!
 1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1/2 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 C. oil
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. finely chopped apples

Preheat to 350
grease an 8 by 8 pan

Combine dry ingredients.
In separate bowl, mix eggs with mixer until light and foamy.  
Add oil and vanilla and mix well.  
Add flour mixture slowly stirring with a spoon.
Finally, add nuts.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Glaze
1/2 C. brown sugar
3 T. butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. heavy cream (I just used milk)

Heat all ingredients in a saucepan.  Melt completely.  
Bring to a soft boil stirring continually for 3-4 minutes. 
Spoon hot glaze over hot cake.
Cool completely before serving.

Add a dallop of vanilla ice cream, a dash of cinnamon, 
and a tall glass of milk.
Makes for a perfect bed-time-snack!!

  • Nancy says:

    Yummy!! I love Tristan’s reaction to the donuts. They are, indeed, our favorite part of the trip to Sky Top. Glad you found the best apple spot around. We are looking forward to our trip next weekend! 🙂 And the girls look so adorable in their matching fall outfits. So fun!

  • Oh my goodness.. I am totally making that apple cake.. tomorrow! We’ll have to run to the farmers market for tart apples.. there are no apple orchards in the desert. 🙁 Love all the photos!!

  • Raymond says:

    These are my favorite pictures to date. Seemed like y’all had tons of fun. I’m jealous. Think I should try your recipe for 60 college boys? I totally chucked at the rotten apples getting tossed by the boys and squeals from the girls. I bet I can guess who started it aaaaand that your sweet girls chucked one or two too 😉 Oh! There’s something on the way for Mr T….It’s only for boys tho

  • Karen says:

    love it friend! I may have to try this recipe. Cute pics!!! Your talent continues to grow! 🙂

  • Rachel C says:

    Looks like a fun day! Thanks for the recipe – I’l be trying that soon 🙂

  • lneal22 says:

    Oh yummy! I baked this apple cake for our Sunday evening family dinner and it was more than delicious…everyone loved it! I added chopped nuts (pecans) even though it was not listed in the ingredient list but it did say to add chopped nuts…but it didn’t say to add the chopped apples…but I did! 🙂 I made Cinnamon Brown Sugar ice cream in my small countertop ice cream maker and it was perfect. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, Mandy. If anyone has not tried it, you should…it will become a favorite!

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