Notes from a Nester:  Falling for Fall Oct21

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Notes from a Nester: Falling for Fall


A blogumn by Debra Barlow

Last weekend, my husband and I attended a wedding in Solvang, CA in the Santa Ynez valley.  It’s beautiful this time of year and the cool, crisp autumn air was a nice break from still-stifling Los Angeles.  Solvang is a cute little town settled by Danish immigrants almost a hundred years ago and built to resemble a typical Danish village.  There are lots of mom and pop shops, antique stores, wine tasting rooms…and not much else.  After we’d enjoyed the wedding festivities (congrats again, J and JD!), ate too much of the local Danish cuisine and drank a lot (a lot) of wine, we were left with a sunny Sunday afternoon and nothing on the agenda.

On our way to yet another winery we passed Apple Lane Farm.  Its cute farm stand and rows of apple-laden trees convinced us to pull over.  If you’ve never gone apple picking before – go.  Go now.  Hurry, before the season ends, which according to the little calendar the farmer gave us, will be sometime next month.  It was so much fun!  The simple kind of fun that is cheap and full of cheesy photo opportunities.  My husband and I walked as deep into the orchard as we could to find the most under picked trees, figuring most lazy day tourists wouldn’t have ventured that far.  We were right.  Fresh Granny Smith and Fuji apples were abundant.  And the best part – there was no one else around.  We were completely alone with the sun, the breeze and the apple trees.  With bags in hand we picked apple after apple, imagining ourselves as Bohemian farmers on some organic collective.  I might blame that part on the wine.

When we were done, we had picked 7 pounds of apples.  The total cost of the excursion:  $10.  We happily packed our treasure into the car and drove off.  Then it hit me:  we have 7 pounds of apples in the trunk.  What the hell are we going to do with 7 pounds of apples?  Turns out, the farmer had thought of that, too, because on the back of the little calendar was a recipe for homemade apple crisp.

I spent my Saturday afternoon baking and feeling very Suzy homemaker as my apartment filled with the smells of cinnamon spiced apples.  It came out of the oven gooey and delicious.  So the next time life gives you apples – make apple crisp!

The Best Apple Crisp courtesy of Apple Lane Farm

6-8 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3—2/3 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the apples)
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp cinnamon*
¼ tsp nutmeg
Dash of salt

1 cup Bisquick
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter

Preheat over to 350?.   Toss together apples and lemon juice.  Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Toss mixture with apples and pour into a 9” X 12” greased pan.  Combine topping ingredients with a pastry blender and sprinkle over apples.  Bake at 350? for 45 minutes.  Makes 8-10 servings

*Next time, I would double the cinnamon – I like my crisp to have a little more kick!