Step one of my big plan to fully enjoy and indulge in all the sensory pleasures this fall has to offer: APPLES. This was yesterday’s theme.

I kicked it off by collecting organic and very local Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples that had recently fallen from Elinor’s trees. Quite the bounty. I knew if I didn’t get them first, the neighborhood pack of deer would, as I have caught them in the act many a time. Don’t worry, I left them lots to snack on. Fifteen minutes later, 25 apples were cutely covering the countertop. Game on.

Right away I consulted the website of my new favorite vegan recipe genius, the lovely Canadian blogger Angela–she’d know what to do.

A lonely butternut squash from my mom’s garden also happened to be hanging around. I.love.butternut. Fortunately, Angela had just the recipe I needed to marry these two delightfully autumnal characters: Maple Butternut Squash & Apple Casserole. Uhh, YUMMMM?

I made three slight modifications to the recipe. Curry powder was oddly nowhere to be found, so I substituted 1/2 T ginger and 1/2 T turmeric and hoped for the best. I also poured about 2 T of melted coconut oil over the top of the squash before going into the oven because it felt like the right thing to do. I also had no pumpkin seeds, so I used chopped walnuts instead.

The verdict: I knew it would be good, but this turned out amazing–better than I’d imagined. It was hearty, bright, flavorful, and pleasantly sweet–autumn in a casserole dish. Thank you, Angela! All three of my changes turned out very well, though I’d like to try it again using actual curry powder to compare. And you know I’ll be making this again.

Bob stopped by in the afternoon and invited me to the produce stand to press apple cider, and of course I couldn’t refuse! My mom joined in the apple fun, too. The stand was all Octobered up. I loved it.

I seem to have a soft spot for old-fashioned manually operated thingamabobs, and this press stole my heart. Look how pretty! Bob said he bought it for $400. Yikes. I think I’ll have to admire them from afar.

I’m scary when I’m grinding apples.

The freshly pressed cider was soooooo wonderful. I think we used five different varieties of apples, and they all combined to form one superb, fresh fresh fresh juice that I could have drunk a whole gallon of.

 

Since I still have 21 apples to use up (and more falling from Elinor’s trees every minute), I believe more delicious looking recipes from the vegan blogosphere are in order for the coming weeks. Here’s what I’d like to try next:

Slow Cooker Naked Apple Butter

3-Ingredient Halloween Apple Bites

Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf

Raw Caramel Apples

Vegan Caramel Apple Pie

What are YOUR favorite ways to enjoy autumn?

Mine include: making comforting recipes from the season’s harvest (like pie, muffins, bread, and casseroles), watching good Halloween movies, carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds, admiring the colors of leaves, and bike rides with friends.

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