“I love fall! Fall is exciting.
It’s apples and cider.
It’s an airborne spider.
It’s pumpkins in bins.
It’s burrs on dog’s chins.
It’s wind blowing leaves.
It’s chilly red knees.
It’s nuts on the ground.
It’s a crisp dry sound.
It’s green leaves turning
And the smell of them burning.
It’s clouds in the sky.
It’s fall. That’s why…
I love fall.”
– Author Unknown
***record screeching*** “Wind blowing leaves and chilly red knees?” Hmmm…I don’t know about where you are, but where I am, it was NINETY SEVEN degrees this weekend!!! The first day of fall was supposed to be the 22nd of September! Man oh MAN! I live in Virginia and spent the weekend (September 25th) apple picking and going to the state fair, and it was HOT AS HECK!!!
There is no questioning that fall is my season. As the wind picks up and the temperatures die down, I eagerly look forward to roasting marshmallows by the fire, drinking spiced apple cider, and anything related to pumpkins!!! To kick the fall season off I decided to take the kiddos to Carter Mountain Apple Orchard in Charlottesville, VA. Though it wasn’t my first time apple picking, it was my first time at this orchard in particular and I was SO glad I chose it! Literally around the corner from Monticello, CMAO had a great hayride, clean bathrooms, and a super cutestore to buy all sorts of wonderful fall and harvest related goodies like apple cider donuts and preserves of all types. Perched on the top of a small mountain in Charlottesville, they had breath-taking views of the area around and a great selection of orchards where you can pick your own apples.
To be honest, the price really wasn’t all that fantastic. They were charging $1.19 a pound to pick their apples. I can get them for that price at my grocery store, or less when they are on sale. Of course, you don’t go apple picking just for the apples! You go for the experience of it all! Despite the million degree weather, Little D, Little K and myself had a great time. D LOVED using the pole to pick the apples off of the branches and K just wanted her bag filled with apples!!! Lunch at the orchard was fantastic too (though also a bit pricey I felt…I would bring my own lunch next time). We had hamburgers and hot dogs that were on amazing buns and sat out on the picnic benches overlooking the valley below. After picking the apples and eating lunch, we went into the Carter Mountain Orchard Wine Shop and I was able to taste all the wines on the list for only $2 (finally a deal! I want to say there were 10 or 12 wines and you were able to try all of them for the $2, though I stuck with the whites mostly). I love testing local Virginia wines and chose a Rapidian Peach and Prince Michel Harmony, both local to the area, to purchase and bring home.
Though I will continue my search for more good apple orchards, this one definitely will remain at the top of the list and I would be more than willing to make the two and a half hour drive to go back again…especially when the temperature drops another 25 degrees!!!
So what’s the point of me sharing all of this??? It leads to my most recent cooking in the kitchen, of course! I could not resist going very long before making a baked good with my newly picked apples in it! Instead of the basic apple pies and apple crisps, I decided to step outside of the box a little and made a Bavarian Apple Torte. It is very much like a cheesecake, but with the apples baked into it. The whole house smells absolutely phenomenal and it was a terrific choice! I don’t know how entirely authentic it is…it seemed WAY to easy to be authentic! In fact, I mixed it up while talking on the phone with my mother and didn’t mess it up once! So, be daring this fall and try something different…you won’t be sorry!
***I would HIGHLY recommend following these cheesecake directions when baking this torte, and cheesecakes of course. It was incredibly useful and answers a lot of the questions we have when dealing with this difficult delectable!