I tend to be a person who dislikes fall because of the inevitability of the winter that follows it, but this fall has been very persuasive. The temperatures have been mild to warm, the red and yellow leaves have been especially beautiful, and thus far those pesky white flakes have stayed away.
This weekend David and I enjoyed one of those quintessential autumn days by visiting the apple orchard with our friends, Ashley and Adam. While the apple trees are mostly bare by now, the orchard also has a couple of pumpkin patches. So we decided to get together for a carving date.
As luck would have it, the orchard offers icy apple slushies and apple turnovers served hot that just so happen to be vegan. The cinnamon-scented smells emanating from the kitchen whetted my palate, and I could hardly wait to get to the picnic tables outside to start into them.
On an unusually warm fall day in the low seventies, the apple slushies were more apple juice than icy but still delicious. The crust was soft and flaky with warm bites of apple inside.
After we found our pumpkins, we headed to Ashley and Adam’s house to do our carving.
Ashley made Maple Pumpkin Spice Popcorn, and the house smelled wonderfully fall-like. Made with pumpkin puree, pecans, maple syrup, and sea salt, the popcorn had a delightful salty/sweet combo going on. It would be a fun idea for Thanksgiving snacking when people are just arriving, the stomach is growling, but you don’t want to spoil your appetite on anything too filling.
For my contribution, I made a couple of appetizers from Julie Hasson’s newest cookbook, Vegan Casseroles. I’ll be sharing pictures and details of those in a full review of the book later in the week.
My friend, Dinger, was eager and ready to help with the pumpkin carving.
I’d spied a really clever set of pumpkins last week on Joey’s blog, Flicking the V’s, and was inspired to do something similar. I’d picked up a small pumpkin earlier that morning at the farmers market as well as the one I’d purchased at the orchard. My version is nowhere near as detailed as the one that Joey posted, but I’m happy with how it turned out.
Autumn, you minx, you may just win me over after all.
Disclaimer: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.