I’m trudging through my work’s busiest time of year right now; rather than painting pumpkins and decorating our home for fall, I’m focused on remembering to eat lunch and trying to leave the office by 7 p.m. Things will hopefully slow down in a few weeks, but until then most of my free time is spent working or thinking about my never ending list of to-do’s.
This past weekend Nick and I took a much needed break and hopped in the car and headed to Homestead Farms, in Poolesville, Md., about 30 minutes outside of D.C. This was our first time visiting the market and orchard and we’ll definitely be making a return trip.
The farm had pumpkins and gourds for as far as you could see and offered lots of fun fall activities, like tractor-pulled hayrides and bales of hay for the little kids to climb.
We passed on the hay ride this time but couldn’t resist stopping to pet and feed the goats.
After walking around the farm for a bit, we headed into the orchards. There were several varieties of apples available; we chose to pick a variety called Pink Lady, which the orchard described as sweet and slightly tart, and great for baking.
Nick and I enjoyed walking through the orchard and finding the best apples and had to force ourselves to leave once the bottom of our basket was filled–two people can only eat so many apples!
We also picked out a few extra pumpkins and gourds and purchased some cider and fall vegetables from the market. Please ignore the caramel apple that also somehow ended up in our wagon.
Once we got home we had to figure out what to do with all those apples; so we turned to our favorite source for home-baked goods…Nick’s grandmother’s church recipe book from the 1950s.
While I pride myself on being a decent cook, I’m a terrible baker (understandably, my penchant for substituting ingredients and only loosely following recipes always gives me terrible results). Thankfully, Nick
is way better at following instructions has successfully taken over as the baker in our family.
We peeled and cored the apples and within an hour Nick had made this delicious apple kuchen, a traditional German cake, that turned out beautifully and was so good with some vanilla caramel swirl ice cream.
Later that night we got out our pumpkin carving tools and got to work on our jack-o-lanterns so they’d be ready to light on the porch for the trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
Nick and I always surprise each other with our pumpkin carvings, and I really thought mine looked scary…that is until I put it next to Nick’s jack-o-lantern, which had really evil eyes and toothpicks for teeth.
And of course we had to make good use of the carved pumpkin seeds. This year I made a zesty treat by tossing them in some lime juice, cayenne pepper and curry powder.
So that was the official kickoff to our fall, I hope everyone is enjoying some fall activities and the cooler weather!