Friday 10 September 2010

Friday this and that . . .

April's promise has come true

Now against a sky of blue
Thickly fruited boughs are spread
Green and russet, gold and red.
~Patience Strong

Oh how I love these autumn days . . . especially apple days.

The air is warm and yet crisp at the same time, and, if you are lucky enough to live near an Orchard, filled with the scent of apples ripening on the trees. That is one of the things that I miss up here from Kent. I'll have to find me a nearby orchard to take a walk through if I can!

Jess used to love walking through the Orchard with us, especially in the autumn when the ground was full of lovely drops . . . each one was a ball to her and she often spent the whole walk with one in her mouth . . .

I will miss all the free fruit as well. We have planted an eating apple tree here in our garden in Chester, but it will be a few years before we actually get any real fruit from it I think.

Most of my life I have been surrounded by Orchards . . . first in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia where I grew up and then in later years, Meaford, Ontario . . . right at the tip of the lovely Georgian Bay in Southern Ontario . . . we lived in an old farmhouse, right smack dab in the middle of the apple orchards . . . not to mention our seven years on the Estate down in Kent.

I have a lot of very happy memories associated with Orchards . . . Jess, long walks amongst apple dappled trees . . . the sounds of apple pickers at work . . . the smells of ripening fruit . . . the farm stand with it's shelves and baskets filled with varieties of apples, apple butters and pies . . . apple juice and cider . . .

Oh my . . . I am making myself feel a bit lonely for home this morning, with all this apple talk! Do any of you have any apple memories or feelings you would like to share? I would love to hear them! Apples and Autumn . . . they just go hand in hand for me!

I got another piece of artwork done yesterday. I just love this little character with her sunflower dress and polka dot stockings. You can see her in her entirety on Blossom Time Creations, and of course I will be putting prints up for sale in my Etsy shop later today!

Just look at that tail and the way those lovely little legs are splayed! This is Mitzie's preferred way of laying down to play with whatever her newest object to chew on is!! Oh, she is a dear one, we love her so!!Friday

And, as if you haven't had enough sweetness for one morning, here's a delicious snack that can really be quite low in fat, depending on whether you choose to use low or no fat cream cheese instead of the full fat one. There's not a lot you can do about the sugar content though. It's using real sugar that makes this taste all caramel like and indulgent. Apples are healthy and very good for you . . . you know . . . an apple a day and all that . . . combining them with a luscious caramel like dip, well that's just genius!

*Caramel Apple Dip*
Makes about 1 ½ cups
Printable Recipe

One might think that this would be too sweet, but it is lovely and mellow and beautifully caramel-like. It’s a bit like having a caramel apple without any of the fuss! Actually I retract that, it’s even better than having a caramel apple!

1 250g package of cream cheese, softened
½ cup soft light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ tsp vanilla
5 to 6 apples washed well, cored and then sliced**

Put the cream cheese into a bowl and then stir in the sugars and vanilla, mixing it all in very well until smooth. Scoop into an attractive serving bowl and then cover and chill for several hours before serving with the sliced apples for dipping. I like to use a mixture of good eating apples, such as tart Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious or like we had yesterday, Pink Ladies. I am thinking sliced pears would also go very well with this dip.

**If you are not serving the fruit right away and you are cutting them up a bit ahead of time as I did yesterday, squeeze the juice of a lemon over the pieces and give them a bit of a toss to coat them all with it in order to keep the fruit from turning brown.

Over in The English Kitchen this morning, some delicious Bran Muffins are on offer, plus an exciting Breakfast Hamper Giveaway from Kelloggs for those of you who live in the UK!!


  1. Wonderful post Marie. Sorry you are missing the past... you will soon have fruit on your apple tree and there has got to be an orchard somewhere.We love going to places where you can pick apples, unfortunatly last year most of the orchards were closed down since we went through a freeze and drought, so hardly any apples grew..sad for the apple farmers here. We are planning on going this year with a picnic. We also love doing appley crafts and baking during Fall season... Storybook Woods has an Apple day which we participated in last year on our blog... we made homemade applesauce... anyhoo. I love Mitzies tail and little feets there..too cute. hang in there...Hugs,Mica

  2. Good morning dear. We got home from the temple later than usual tonight. I am really tired but I don't seem to be sleepy yet even though it is 12:18 a.m. I've enjoyed catching up on your blog. We have apple trees and enjoy them. I wish that you were here to share them with us. I forgot to memtion it on the comment I left on your last post, but I do love your tea cup pin cushion. You are so clever.
    Thanks again for thinking of us yesterday when Justin left. It was a happy but hard day, especially for Lynell.

    Mitzie is so perfect for you and Todd. I am so glad that you have her. I'd better get to bed. I am winding down now...I hope that you have a nice Fri and a great weekend....Hugs, Lura

  3. Hi Marie! I've been having trouble with my password on here so I've just had to reset it. I love all things apple-y, they're so versatile! We had apple dishes often when my girls were small, still do in fact! One of my daughters doesn't like pastry so I used to make apple crumbles, Rhiannon used to call it humble crumble and now that's what it's known as in our family!

  4. Oh, I feel the nostalgia too, Marie! I come from a place of lots of orchards and fruit farming. I miss the sight of those orchards. I LOVE apples... and it's apple time now. LOVE your caramel dip for apples--lovely...mmm... So sweet photo of Mitzie... hehehe...And your new illustration is wonderful--you are so clever! Still feeling under the weather here, but had to stop by and say HI and wish you all there a Happy Weekend--LOVE YOU LOTS, dear friend ((BIG HUGS))

  5. I've never lived close to or taken many walks in an orchard but on my way to work I used to pass by an orchard and you could smell apples in the air when you drove by. I love the smell and have several apple scented candles here at home. Apples with caramel dip is one of my favorite snacks so I'll have to try out your recipe for sure. I hope you have a wonderful Friday!

  6. I'm not wild about eating raw apple but I LOVE cooked ones. My favourite type is the glorious big green English Bramley. It's a bit too tart for eating raw, needs a bit of sugar to release that true Bramley flavourbut it makes the best apple sauce I ever tasted. For me it's unbeatable for apple pie, apple crumble, apple snow. I remember when I was little, us three kids gathered around mum's baking table to catch the apple peelings before they hit the bin. That was the unwittingly healthy bit; little fat Anna here would then hang around for a bit until the bowl from the cake mixture was ready to be licked out ......bliss!

  7. I meant to say, my choice in the eating apple stakes would be Granny Smiths (it must be something about the colour green). They're crisp but very juicy and would be lovely with your caramel dip.

  8. I love the name Mitzie! It's so cute!


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