Fall Fun.

More and more, I’m realizing how much I love the fall. It kind of makes me wish I was having a fall wedding, so we could include all the things I love about fall into the celebration – butternut squash soup, bonfires, pumpkin anything, sweaters and jackets…

This was my first weekend since June that I did not have a looming marathon training run. As much as I love running, it was nice to have no plans and no need to wake up early. Friday night, Casey and I had a raging party for two in our backyard. We had our first fire in the secret firepit area at the new house, and by all accounts it was a good time. We burned every stick in the yard, including the big pile leftover from the windstorm. Our party contained all the must-haves of any successful bonfire – ipod music, hooded sweatshirts, marshmallows, and an excessive amount of red wine.

Saturday, after sleeping in (yay!), Casey, Lindsey and I went to Indigo’s for lunch to try some much-hyped chicken soup. While the soup did not pass Panera’s Chicken Noodle in Lindsey’s constant search for the best chicken soup ever, it was still quite tasty. Afterwards, Lindsey and I embarked on a fun adventure I have been talking about (read: begging someone to go with me) for weeks and weeks. All I have wanted since fall has arrived…was to go apple picking.

We took lovely 30 minute drive out to Irons Fruit Farm in Lebanon, and were surprised at how many other people had the same idea. There was a line backed up all the way down the street to get in the parking lot, and the sheriff directing traffic made the problem much worse. After a near-car-overheating-scare, we were finally deemed worthy of a parking spot, and set off to pick our apples. We were delighted to find that the 200 people waiting in line were actually waiting to pick pumpkins, and that there were very few people there wanting apples. More for us!

It should be noted that the farm also had a “Decision ’08 Political Corn Maze” complete with donkey and elephant that you were supposed to go through for your respective party. After seeing a disturbing amount of McCain signs on our way there, Lindsey was convinced that when you made it to the center of the donkey, you’d be greeted by a farmer with a sawed-off shotgun. We figured we were safer sticking to non-partisan apples.

We took a nice short hayride to the orchards and were given our bags. We would be picking Ida Red apples – yum! Here are some pictures from our fruity extravaganza…

This apple had a hole in it, with a ladybug inside! (And a super cute leaf)

Me and my bounty. Two “pecks” of apples for $13! Beat that, Kroger.

Lindsey peeks through the apple tree.

So many apples on the ground under the trees. I wonder what happens to them…

When I got home, Casey was excited to see our apple bounty (and was also excited he didn’t have to participate in apple picking). We immediately started pouring over cookbooks, trying to figure out exactly what we could do with 40 apples. Clearly, pie was the verdict. Casey made a fabulous healthy-ish apple pie from our Cooking Light cookbook. But I believe it’s only healthy if you don’t eat the entire thing

Before the gluttony.

Half-way there… (Casey finally got to use his pie server, too!)

The pie was fabulous, but only used 3 apples, so we still had plenty left. And clearly we were not allowed to make any more dessert items, as we cannot be trusted to have baked goods in the house.

Coming up tomorrow: Emily’s homemade applesauce! Try to contain your excitement…