apple picking

In our house the arrival of fall means something major: apple picking. It’s something we look forward to every year. We go with a bunch of our friends, pick way too many apples and then stuff ourselves with fresh apple cider donuts at the bake shop.

This year the grown ups thought we were kind of a big deal. We started trying to coordinate schedules in August–mostly because last year we couldn’t work out a date until October and when we got there there wasn’t a single non-rotten apple on a tree. I kid you not. People were filling their baskets with apples from big bins at the ends of rows. We went home with pumpkins instead, but we weren’t very happy about it.

Anyway, this year we fancied ourselves hyper-organized women who have everything under control. We were so excited about it. And then I got bronchitis. Planning: fail.

The others still went and brought Samantha with them so she would be able to pick apples with her buddies, but from my supine position on the couch I started planning another outing the next weekend in my head. Luckily Meg and her kids were available too (everything is more fun with friends).

The two of us carted our five kids to the orchard and I have to tell you, you should be impressed. The potential for disaster was huge but we managed to escape without a single tantrum. I’d like to chalk it up to our superior parenting skills, but I haven’t quite forgotten about the handful of Samantha’s hair I pried from Ellie’s furious little fist this morning.

Apple picking immediately leads to looking up amazing apple-centric recipes. This is the part where I tell you that if you behave and make all of the appropriate oooooh and ahhhh noises at pictures of our ridiculously adorable children, I’ll reward you with a kick ass applesauce recipe.

Ready? Go!

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Do you have any clue how difficult it is to get a single good shot of five kids? Meg and I were yelling and jumping up and down to get their attention and generally making fools of ourselves. I didn’t get a single shot with all of the kids looking at me.

Here are a couple of the outtakes, because I know you can’t get enough.

apple picking

apple pickingapple pickingapple pickingDoes your face hurt yet from smiling at all of that cuteness? It should.

OK, so as I mentioned yesterday, as soon as we got home we started baking. First was an apple muffin recipe I found. They are ridiculously good and my crappy attempt at photography does them no justice. Click the link or the picture for the recipe.

Then there’s the applesauce. I make huge batches of it every year. It’s so quick and so simple that even I can’t mess it up. Plus, if you heat it up in the microwave you feel like you’re eating something really bad–like a whole apple pie–but you’re actually eating only a fraction of the calories. I’m all for tricking myself.

Slow Cooked Apple Sauce:

  • 8 apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

Throw it all into a slow cooker for 3 1/2 hours on high and send me your thank yous later.

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.