- Food and Cooking
Make Apple Cider and Apple Crisp to Enjoy Autumn Fun !
Autumn is Time for Jumping in Leaves....Click thumbnail to view full-size
and Pumpkin CarvingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Autumn, with Halloween as its culmination is one of my favourite seasons. Crisp fresh air full of the scent of drying leaves always sets off a flutter of excitement in my heart.
Autumn brings back memories of the not so distant past when my three boys were younger. Every autumn we would frequent Archibald Apple Orchard and Winery and I would listen to the girls singing while they pressed apples for cider while the boys played in the corn maze and other attractions. We would either pick apples before we left or buy from the many varieties in their apple and craft store.
As the trees are plentiful on our farm, so are the leaves. Raking and then jumping into a big pile has been a constant source of entertainment for my boys. Lately, however, the raking is usually helped along by use of our ATV and leaf mulcher. There is nothing better to overwinter roses than a deep mulching of dried leaves.
Now my middle son plants his own pumpkin patch so we have plenty of carving pumpkins (and roasting and pie pumpkins). But we always bought some when we weren't growing them. Our front step is always decorated with pumpkins carved and decorated by all three boys.
Check These Out
Round Bale Mazes and Obstacle CourseClick thumbnail to view full-size
When in their kindergarten years, the boys' school classes always ventured by bus to Buckhorn Farm during their Pumpkin Festival. Round bale mazes, a haunted barn obstacle course and haunted cemetery entertained wide-eyed five to six year olds. Every child's favorite event was the wagon ride to the pumpkin patch with the thrill of choosing their own pumpkin to take home. Check out the link for Buckhorn Farm and Archibald Apple Orchard and Winery if you plan on being in the Peterborough, Ontario Canada area during the season of Autumn. It is a wonderful place for kids and adults alike. The baked goods including pumpkin and apple treats as well as apple picking are fantastic past times for the young and old. Archibald Orchards has the added bonus of housing its own winery with wine tasting of their fruit wines made on site. The scenery in the Peterborough County area can be breathtaking at this time of year. The fall colors on the hardwood trees is a sight to behold.
Haunted Cemetery at Buckhorn Farm near Peterborough, OntarioClick thumbnail to view full-size
Wagon Ride and Pumpkin Patch at Buckhorn FarmClick thumbnail to view full-size
Trick or TreatingClick thumbnail to view full-size
The culminating event for my boys is Halloween Eve. I have dressed them up since they were babies but especially when younger they have loved creating costumes from dollar store finds and what we have lying around the house. I always keep a plastic bin filled with costume pieces from Halloweens past and they always manage to create ghoulishly fun characters. My son Kieran has a penchant for turning ordinary characters into the "Halloween dead". He has created "dead knights" and one year he was a "dead koala". As this year football has become his passion, I am expecting a dead football player or maybe two or three! After pictures, we head out to the local village (we live on a farm - no one lives near by) and the boys trick or treat while we all enjoy the Halloween displays at the houses in the neighborhood. As most Halloween's in Ontario are quite cold or extremely chilly (many years it is snowing) an hour provides ample entertainment and more than enough candy.
Once at home, the candy is checked and the boys dig in with a hot chocolate for warmth while the adults enjoy hot cider and apple crumble.
- 1 cup of apple cider
- 1 whole clove
- 1 allspice berry
- square of washed cheesecloth
- length of kitchen string
- Pour the apple cider into a saucepan.
- Place the cinnamon stick, clove and allspice into center of cheesecloth; fold the sides of cheesecloth to make a closed square and tie with the kitchen string.
- Drop the spice bundle into the cider and heat gently for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from heat.
- Discard the spice bundle and ladle the cider into mugs.
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 5 cups apples - thinly sliced
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)
- Lightly grease an 8 to 10 inch square pan ( I use a Pampered Chef stone ware deep 8 inch square pan).
- In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and butter. Mix until crumbly. Place half of the crumb mixture in the pan. Spread the apples evenly over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and top with remaining crumb mixture.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
Check out Parts 1 to 3 of my Halloween Hubs
- Samhain and the History of Halloween
Halloween is traditionally the night we embrace our dark side. Discover the origin of this ghoulishly fun holiday and the ancient and medieval customs that have resulted in many of the fun and scary symbols of this holiday.
- Change in Physiology in the Face of Fear
Watching a particularly scary movie while babysitting can elicit a number of fear reactions including sweaty palms, the hairs rising on the nape of the neck and pounding heart. There are biological reasons for these reactions that go back to our days
- Cryptozoology Looks at Four Cryptids
Cryptozoologists study those creatures that are strange and weird and bring out the fear factor we love to celebrate at Halloween. Here be monsters you may be familiar with but whose existence is a mystery. Do you believe?