How ‘Bout Them Apples

Fall means changing leaves and cooler temperatures…unless you live in Tucson where it just means not sweating on your morning walk to the bus stop (because you are still sweating on your afternoon bus stop walk). Fall has always been my favorite season, and we try to keep some of its essence here. One such way has been trekking out to Apple Annie’s Orchard to go apple picking. Instead of wearing jackets, we are lathering on sunscreen, but we still enjoy gathering nature’s autumnal bounty. I guess we really like it because we ended up bringing home at least 25 pounds of apples.

That’s a lot of apples. It has made me the Bubba Gump Company of apple baked goods. I’ve made apple pie (the reason Ethan says cinnamon smells like Christmas), apple muffins (good old Moosewood Muffin Madness), apple crisp, apple coffee cake (shout out to coffee cake who puts coffee in its name to justify eating dessert for breakfast), apple crumb bars, apple bread (loaded with hard cider which is probably why this one was made twice), and I still have some fruit left. It has been a delicious time of year.

I love traditions and this will hopefully stay as a family one for years. Even in the desert, keeping continuity alive makes the 90-minute drive worth it. (The homemade apple donuts and apple crumb ice cream are also nice incentives for the road trip to Annie’s.)

We are creatures of habit and tradition, but every now and then we like to live life on the edge. And I don’t just mean adding new recipes to our apple baking repertoire. When Mike is out of town, I rebel in the craziest ways. For example, the boys and I will sometimes go get donuts for breakfast. Crazy!! But that is almost nothing compared to this absolute abandonment of reason. I am not even sure you can handle our recklessness, but here goes. We will sit. In. A. Different. Pew. At. Church. WHAT?!?!?!?!?! That’s right. B-b-b-b-bad to the bone. With Mike gone this weekend, I did not hesitate to march my boys NOT to the back bench, not even the next to the last bench, but the SECOND to the last bench, beside different people and two feet closer to the pulpit. The adrenaline rush sky-rocketed. Some of you think I am exaggerating, but I know others of you know. You know like your butt implants in your Sunday seat know. Mike will beeline to his precious far back bench like it has his name on it. Even when there is no room for the four of us to fit, he will squeeze himself down as the others already seated invade one another’s personal space just to accommodate our inability to break free from the favorite pew. I am embarrassed as I see empty benches in front of us and fellow parishioners sitting on each other’s lap to make room for our family. So you bet I jumped off the cliff’s edge and bungeed over to one of those empty benches yesterday. How do you like them apples?

That has nothing at all to do with fall baking really, but I had to get it off my chest and after all, this is a mom’s confessional. To bring it back, I will share the newest addition to the baking repertoire (in case pew changing is a bit too radical for you, just try a new apple recipe). Here’s the link to Loaded Apple Cider Bread I made. Enjoy, you fellow risk-takers (extra hard cider for you)!

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