Memory Keeper: This Week In October 3

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Welcome back to this week’s Memory Keeper Post. A rare picture with everyone facing the right direction.

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L: Azure couldn’t understand why I wanted him to hold the apple near his face

R: Brecks thought picking up the dropped apples for sampling was just the ticket

Family Fun Adventure: This last week we got to do something a little extra special. Apple picking with friends! This trip has been in the planning stage for over a year and we were all so excited to be making this trip way down to Julian, California for apple picking. During the week before we planned on heading down there I called around to make sure the orchards we planned to visit were going to be open for u-pick (on October 19th) but most places were all picked for the season! After a mad phone rush, I was able to locate one orchard that was still open for picking. Phew, crisis averted.

On a nice sunny day in late October we found ourselves at the lovely Calico Ranch https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calico-Ranch/405272232860469. This place has a nice shady picnic area that we were able to lunch at before heading into the orchard to pick. They have 130 varieties of apples at this ranch! The type that were ready for picking were not our favorite choice for an eating apple, but it certainly made a fine juice! After wandering around doing a bit of picking we headed back to the front to fill up our bags with several other varieties that were offered already picked. At $10 a half pint bag, it wasn’t the cheapest orchard around but wasn’t too bad a price either. It was nice that they had taste tester apples at the front so you knew which apples you preferred. All in all this was a great family friendly place with lots of run around room for the kiddies and the jogger made it around the place easily. The trees were nice and short for easy picking too.

Julian Mountain Pies were offering their lovely pies for sale as well. Made with whole ingredients that read like a recipe rather than a packaged food. They had a bunch of tasty sounding combos like apple/blueberry, apple/mango or apple/cherry (the one we got), and many others. I was please to hear this company made their pies with apples from the Calico Ranch. Apparently, not all the pies in town are made with the local apples?! At $14 a pie, it too wasn’t the cheapest, but let me tell you…YUM! Compared to the $7 you pay at the grocery store for really bad tasting pie, these larger babies were worth every penny. I think that’s why we don’t eat much pie, store bought are yuck and homemade is a lot of work and uses a lot of fruit. I also liked their streusel topping rather than the usual covered pie crust. It made for a nicely balanced, not too dry combo. While the pie was a tad sweeter than I preferred, I will certainly be setting aside a portion of this apple haul to make a Thanksgiving pie. I’m thinking cranberry apple sounds nice.

My suggestion for anyone planning on apple picking next year would be, go earlier in the year. Since many of the u-pick orchards are on the same road it would be fun to orchard hop as well. Any one been to Julian and wanna add their two cents? Lemme know and I’ll included it here or link back to you.

*Disclaimer: I have not received any kind of compensation for this post or my recommendations. All opinions are my own.

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Brecks digging through the tractor haul of apples

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We ended up with quite a few apples that survived the weekend of noshing. The juice of the mixed varieties is truly heavenly! I now dream of the day when I can have a teeny backyard orchard of my own.

Big thanks to Dan, Gin and kiddos for showing up to make the experience that much better with friends. See you guys again soon!

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Look what this little turkey has become interested in, tracing! Big smiles from Mama

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L: Zucchini Raisin Cake made by Cole R: Banana Bread made by Kenyon

These recipes are from 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2039815.1_000_Vegetarian_Recipes

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L: A fluffy loaf made by Mom, ok the bread machine really http://allrecipes.com/recipe/honey-wheat-sandwich-rolls/detail.aspx

R: Strawberry Banana Muffins made by Alvin http://splashofsomething.com/2013/03/01/are-we-pastry-or-are-we-baked-good-strawberry-banana-muffins/

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