Monday, October 12, 2009

Another yearly apple trip!

Brrr! It was a cold, blustery trip yesterday, but Jeff, Gus and I bundled up and drove down to join my family at our meet-up spot in Winona to do our annual apple picking trip! The first trip we talked about on the blog, you'll notice that we were in shorts. This year? I'll let this picture do the talking.

That would be three layers up top, two pairs of socks (with one of them being wool...) and gloves to try and keep me warm, and I was still bouncing all around trying not to freeze (I get cold so easy!). Lucky for Gus, he has all that long hair to keep him toasty!

Depending on where exactly we go, we tend to travel back and fourth, weaving in and out of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Here we enter Wisconsin for the first time, just outside of Winona.

Jeff was playing with the camera and I'm sure this will be no surprise to you that we have this hanging in the car.

Shocking, I'm sure!
Our first stop is always to the hilly Decoraland, which is where we do most of our picking.

See? One stop shopping! It's a small list compared to the variety of trees they actually have to choose from. We put our hands to use and snatched off Golden Delicious, Fireside, Zestar and of course, the ever sweet and crispy Honey Crisp.

I can't believe how much we ended up with - 68 pounds! Those darn bushels fill up so fast. Now we just have to figure out what to do with them all - any suggestions?

Besides going for apples, the other reason we go to this area is simply all about gawking at the absolutely stunning scenery... though, sadly, this year the colors were quite muted compared to other trips.
That doesn't mean it wasn't still beautiful (note the trees growing out from the rocks!).

The little markets and shops along the way are what really make the trip special - here's one we never miss.

Pumpkins galore were found here...

All shapes and sizes, along with funky gourds one would expect to find!

They also had loads of pie pumpkins, just aching to be cooked and mashed for the first pumpkin pie of the season!

And yes, the kitchy Halloween displays were ever-present... here's just a snap of the many!

This is from a set of furniture made right from twigs and logs -Mom especially took her time snooping around this area to try and figure out how to make them herself!

We stopped at a few other spots, but we were too enthralled with the offerings that we got caught up and left the camera in the car. What a great way to spend the day - we can't wait until next year's jaunt!


  1. I really enjoyed the pictures. Sounds like a great trip.

  2. Bauer's! That's in LaCrescent, MN! My mom and her family are from there, and my aunt and cousin still live there. Every fall, my mom gets apples there to make my birthday pie (I've never been a huge fan of cake). It's the best I've ever had, hands-down. I'm trying to learn her secret to pass down to my own family.

  3. I suggest drying them for some yummy dried apples and making some homemade applesauce with interesting adaptations - strawberry, cherry, cinnamon and maybe blueberry?

  4. Freeze some for apple pie when apples are not so good...of course applesauce (and I freeze that too)...dried apples are good but it does take a lot to make a cake, apple pizza, apple bread, baked apples stuffed with goodies...and the list could go on and on and on. I love apples (or couldn't you tell?)

  5. Try some chicken with a balsamic apple reduction! I think I saw a recipe for it somewhere...

  6. I LOVE going to the apple orchard! I have gone twice this year--but not quite as far away as you went! Suggestions? Apple sauce, apple butter (SO good!), dried apples (you have a dehydrator, right?), apple pie, baked apples, and, my favorite--eating them out of hand! Yum :-)


  7. Plenty of applesauce - I make plain because I can always add whatever amendments when I serve it. I use it for applesauce muffins. Someone's apple cake sounded like a great idea. I started freezing already mixed pie fillings last year. I take them out of the freezer in the morning, pop them into a crust and bake in the afternoon so the house smelss all apple-cinnamon-y when my family comes home.

  8. Joe,this scenery looks so familiar to me, as we have similar temperature and foliage here in Montreal (Canada)at this time of the year. Enjoy your harvest.

  9. What a bounty of squash there. No Lobo apples? I keep singing their praises to Jeph.

  10. Great suggestions so far - thanks!

    Peter - I've never heard of Lobo apples!

  11. Good job! 68 lbs?! I had 35 lbs that I processed last weekend- I have no idea what you are going to do with all of those. I made 11 pints of applesauce and then 20 1/2 pints of apple jam from the peels. Yum.