Vegetarian Family

A Peek @ Food We Eat & Things We Do!

Monday, October 02, 2006

U Pick Apples & Happy Birthday

It was Art's birthday, and here's a picture of the cake he baked with Olivia. I could hear them having fun working in the kitchen together while Abigail and I played in another room. I should have more details since this is a food blog, but all I can say for sure is that:

1. The house had a wonderful banana aroma while it baked
2. The cake was white
3. The frosting was white
4. There was a layer of fresh banana between layers
5. There aren't enough candles inside a box
6. It was delicious

With all the bananas, it's no wonder Olivia's nickname for Art is Bananas Gorilla. Another of his cooking specialities is pancakes. So for his birthday, we decided it'd be funny if he found this when he reached inside the pantry instead of his trusty, clear, plastic, pancake container. He was surprised, thought it was funny, and likes it very much.

The girls and I also painted two little T-shirts with birthday greetings. They wore them to bed the night before, so in the morning Art was wished Happy Birthday right away. The girls wore their night shirts over their day clothes for the rest of the day, so you can see what they look like below.

"Go pick apples." was Art's response to, "What do you want to do for your birthday?"

So we drove 30 minutes to Tyler's Orchards (S. Slope Road, Emmett). This sign is the first thing we saw after turning on their road -- other than row after row of beautiful, fragrant trees. We put $6 dollars in the "cash cow," grabbed a kitty litter pail, and began wandering between the rows of red delicious apple trees.

The trees here are unusually short, and both girls had no problem reaching the apples.

For us, apple picking is a family thing -- picking apples in the crisp fall air, with the hazy autumn sun glinting through the branches. If you've never done it before, you owe it to yourself to do it. It's one of those old-fashioned romantic fall activities, like hay rides that make you feel like a kid again. And - bonus- you've got a bushel of apples for baking pies, making applesauce, dipping - or for just polishing on your sleeve.

Orchard owner comments that:

*Gala: "Gala is the best early apple for fresh eating."
*Jonathan: "It's the best cooking apple for pies."
*Honey Crisp: "This is the best eating apple, mid-season, if you like a tart, crisp apple,"
*Fuji: "They're not very good for cooking, but they're good for fresh-eating, and you can buy them later in the season."
*Pink Lady: "You can't cook a Pink Lady, but for fresh-eating, this -- and the Fuji -- are good picks and they'll hold up for most of the winter."

I think being surrounded by trees with delicious fruit was the most exciting for Abigail. I'd say fruit is her favorite food category and this was a slice of heaven for her. This is a rare moment when she didn't have an apple in each hand.

There was a produce stand farther up the road near their home. The girls couldn't resist these georgous, giant pumpkins. We also bought some peaches and plums here.

This was our pick of the day -- Red Delicious.

Which is the apple of your eye? Orchard owner picks his favorite apples:

In his opinion, the best fresh-eating are Honey Crisp, Gala, Fuji and Pink Lady.

Top cooking apples, he says, are Jonathan, Rome and Granny Smith.


Blogger lulu的小巢 said...

a lovely girl,happy birthday to her

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Art! It looks like the best birthday ever from the looks of it!!

The shirts and pancake jar are priceless! Olivia looks very pleased by her contribution to the cake. It sounds amazing with the banana layer!! Those candles crack me up! Poor Bananas Gorilla needed MORE candles than the box had! Lol! I can relate!

I looove picking apples!! I used to do it in new England all the time, so my favorite kind are MacIntosh. (only from their U-Pick orchards though!)

Your little girls are SO darn cute. I love the one of Olivia about to bite the apple! :P

Looks like a great birthday!!!!!!

PS> I laughed out loud at your "kiwi poppers" term on my blog. Very cute!

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BG=Art! D'oh! Happy birthday, Art!! (Belated) GREAT CAKE! It is lit up so nicely with the candles, and Liv nearby is just precious, Vicki... I love his container. That is just so colourful, meaningful and beautiful! How nice that the girls wore those wonderful shirts! I love it all!!

Apple picking sounds like a fab b'day idea to me, too. U-Pick! Very nice... I've done apple picking many times in my day and it is just how you describe. Total fun... Abi's holding the apple in her hand is too precious but the photo of the girls on the pumpkins is super sweet as well!

I am a big fan of Golden Delicious but i'll eat any ol' apple pretty much anytime...

Now i have Stevie Wonder's "You are the Sunshine of My Life" goin' thru my head! :o) (And i like it, by the way!)

Thanks for sharing Art's b'day w/us! Very nice to be a part of it all! HAPPY YEAR AHEAD, BANANA GORILLA!

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Art sounds like quite the guy! He makes cakes and pancakes too! The girls are cute as always! I love the t-shirt idea haha. And apple picking is the best, that's a hefty pile there!


5:55 AM  
Anonymous dreena said...

What a beautiful post, all around!

Vicki, your girls and Art are lucky to have you as a mom and wife - as I know you feel lucky to have them. There is so much love and connection in your posts, it's very touching.

Happy Birthday to Art!! His new pancake container is smashing!

(love the point #5, btw... very funny!!)

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Emmy said...

Happy Birthday Art!!!! That's so sweet he and Olivia baked a cake together. When I was a kid, my dad and I made a Dukes of Hazzard General Lee Cake together for my birthday.

The cake looks yummy. How lovely you and the girls decorated his pancake jar and the t-shirts are so cute!

Sounds like you had a great time at the orchard. I have to second the apple orchard owner's comment about Honey Crisps. They are a delicious eating apple. YUM!!!!!! My absolute favorite apples are Snow Apples, but they can be hard to find. I also use Jonathan and Northern Spy in baking. Granny Smith are good too :)

6:01 AM  
Blogger Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Very neat - I just went apple picking last night...but mine were $12 per bag - --$6 is a great steal!

Sounds like you had a great birthday outing for Art with the girls. Very sweet.


7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Vicki, great post! And happy birthday to Art too- it just looked like an all around fun and happy way to spend a day. I totally agree with you about apple-picking- I think I'm going to go again this weekend. (I need more apple upside down cakes!) What's my favorite apple? I like crispins. And because of Emmy, I'm obsessed with finding and trying a snow apple! Yum- but any apple is nice, as long as it's *crisp*.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said... of our goals this fall is to pick apples. We used to do so when we lived in Boston, and then we moved to California. We drove to Sebastopol one day, knowing that lots of apples grow there. But we could not find a u-pick orchard. All the farmers were afraid of liability! I guess that's California for you. Now that we're in Oregon I see there are plenty of places to pick apples. Your post spurred me on to make sure it happens!

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to go apple picking! I absolutely LOVE apples! :)

My favorites for eating and cooking are Cortlands and Granny Smiths.

I am going to try Honey Crisps and Ginger Golds soon as I see them all over the place around here!

8:58 AM  
Anonymous tara said...

What a beautiful post. I love what a family you are. :)

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best post! It takes me back to the best times in my life too (at least 18 years ago). I loved apple picking when I lived in IL. We drove up to Wisconsin and got apples, cider and pumpkins. What a great day this looks like.

Happy birthday to Art. I love the idea of the shirts and his pancake container. Funny, he made his own cake?!

Fuji and gala apples are my faves.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a precious family you have. I hope I can find a place not too far from me to pick apples. We are just now getting the Honey Crisps, which I love. Galas are my all-time fave!

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We used to do this when I was a little kid in Indiana. I haven't thought about it in ages! There was an apple orchard about 20 minutes out of town where you could pick your own. They also had the most amazing apple cider and mom would always buy a few pints for us to enjoy over the next few weeks. Cider was a special treat, you see.

Thanks for sharing your beuatiful apple picking day. The pics of your girls are too cute! lol Looks like you all had a wonderful time. What a great choice for a birthday activity.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a lovely day!

1:03 PM  
Blogger Art Hodge said...

Thank you everyone for all the well wishes, it was a day of great fun. Hey Dreena, the number 5 was not THAT funny.... but next year I'll need to make a Costco run to get them in bulk...

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

honey crisp....honey crisp....honey crisp....I just discovered this apple last week...I LOVE IT

megan the vegan

5:40 PM  
Blogger funwithyourfood said...

what a great birthday and a family trip!
I've never even been apple picking. It looks like a lot of fun


6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great b'day for Art. Happy b'day Art the Tart Inspirer.

What a nice life your family has: Gorgeous photos of living foods and of happy, healthy kids. Brings a happy tear to my eye.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey - I just found yuor blog - it looks beautiful - my son is going to love looking at the photos with me!

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a glorious day!

:) Mikaela

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Geraldine said...

What a great post and pics!!! Happy Birthday to Art too


9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful post !
Happy Birthday to Art :)

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Art !
all looks great, you girls looks so happy!

12:45 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

apple picking sounds like a great birthday idea!

12:53 PM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

OOOoooooppPPPs! I missed your BIRTHDAY Banana GORILLA! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! What a sweet cake and fresh air, can't beat that for a birthday!!! mmmMMMMM apples Jer, just brought home some!!! xoxoxoox

11:15 AM  
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11:36 PM  

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