Fresh from the Orchard to the Kitchen {Puttin' Them Apples to Use ๐Ÿ˜‰}


I'm back with some more apple action! You didn't think I'd share the 50 pounds of apples I picked then leave you hanging on everything I'm using them in, did you? Before I get into what I made at home I'll share a few shots from inside the market at Mercier Orchards. Though we kept from purchasing much besides our fresh apples, it is still always fun to take a look at all of the things they have in the market.

Always fun to have a vintage vehicle in the market filled with baskets of goodies!

There's definitely a mix of everything there. From items made right there on site, to all kinds of stuff brought in that complement the local pickings. You won't leave hungry, that's for sure.

Food galore, more apples that they didn't have available for U-pick, a whole bakery section I avoided (probably no vegan goodies anyway), and of course...

...Jar after jar of jams, jellies, and preserves! This is the epitome of a country market. They even have a whole section that has no added sugars.

To top it all off, there's a friendly Sasquatch to send you on your way. ;)

Well I think that should satisfy my pal @dswigle for #marketfriday. Why not make this a party and jump on @foodfightfriday, as well? I haven't whipped out a whopper of a Friday post in a while. Come on in and have a seat at the table, I'll give you a taste of all the apple creations from the week....

Why don't we start with a nice salad? This was one of those quick meals to incorporate the first of the apples along with the last of the farmers market goodies from the week before. I just cooked up wild rice and lady peas to toss with chopped apple, walnuts, pickled tomatoes and a light mustard dressing. Of course toss that mess over salad greens to call it a meal!

If the salad wasn't enough, how about a bowl of this beety goodness? I do love a good beet soup! Or stew. Whatever. This was really another of those easy meals where I just toss a bunch of stuff in the slow cooker and let it do its thing. I think this consisted of some rough combination of the following:

  • 4-5 chopped beets
  • 1 large chopped sweet potato
  • 1 large chopped apple
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cup black lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • Spices: about a teaspoon each of fennel seed, ground cumin, paprika, oregano, ground celery seed
  • chopped beet greens
  • fresh oregano for garnish

I just added all of that to the slow cooker (except for the beet greens--I added those at the end), set it on high for about 5 hours and let it get happy. If it weren't a record-breaking day of heat here, it might actually taste like fall in that bowl.

I also put together a quick batch of carrot and apple muffins from one of my Thug Kitchen cookbooks to freeze for a beach getaway at the end of the month. It isn't a beach trip without a cooler packed of yummy, healthy snacks.

However, the winners of the week were the homemade applesauce and apple butter! I've made applesauce a few times now. It is another one of those really easy things to make, especially with my other slow cooker (two do come in handy sometimes). For this batch I kept it really simple since I do like to use applesauce in cooking sometimes and don't always want it spiced. Essentially you just chop up a bunch of apples, toss in a squeeze of lemon and just a bit of water and cook until they soften up and start to break down. I didn't even peel them since I wanted to keep the nutritional value of the skin and don't mind the texture. I enjoy a chunkier applesauce for eating anyway. I used my stick blender to get it just where I wanted it to be.

Don't you want to stick a spoon into that?

After speaking with some of my co-workers the other morning, I also decided to try my hand at some apple butter for the first time. I hit the good ol' interweb to hunt down some recipes for inspiration. I landed on this one for the pressure cooker and decided to give it a try. Of course I made a few tweaks based on my own preferences. The big one was switching the sugar out for dates. Remember my awe-inspiring date haul from a few months ago? I still have some of the Barhi dates that taste like caramel, so I thought they would add a delicious note to the apple butter.

Excellent decision if I do say so myself. This stuff is golden! I kept trying not to lick it all of the spoon as I was scooping it out into my jars for us to keep and to share with some friends and family. Add this to the list of things I wish I had made sooner. I've had it in the jar before, but for some reason I thought it might be challenging to make. Nope. Just as easy as the applesauce. It has a few more ingredients and cooks down a bit more. I also pureed it much smoother, but otherwise it's really simple to put together.

I've still got plenty more apples to put to use, but luckily I picked up a dehydrator from a friend yesterday to borrow. I should have some time this weekend to try drying some to use later on down the line. Nice to have friends with fun toys like that since I'm still on the fence if I'd use it enough to justify a purchase. We'll see how the apples turn out and if it sways my opinion!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

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Na! Na! I have 10 more downvotes than you. Thbbb!

๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great weekend, Plants.


Damn, going for the downvoting gold on that one! Don't those folks know Curry is delicious?? ๐Ÿ˜‚

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That was so funny! Nobody else probably gets what you just said and I about lost a tooth on that one. L to the O to the L Miss Planks.


And now I'm laughing harder because I didn't realize autocorrect capitalized curry. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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What a cool Market i love that old truck and the dishes all look good but tat Betty salad really caught my eye

Have a great day


I'm glad I took some pictures before we went picking because later on it was packed! A fun trip with lots of yummy apple dishes to share. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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You sure got enough apples to prepare a multitude of dishes :)

Wow, this is amazing @plantstoplanks! From beety stew to apple butter, you pretty much covered everything. Love those muffins :) It's definitely that time of year, I looooove orchards, nothing like freshly picked fruit! I'll be dreaming of apple butter now, lol


Apple picking is definitely one of the highlights of the season. Always a blast. I was glad my mom got to come with us this time. I just brought her some apple butter yesterday and she loved it! I'll very much enjoy those muffins with my toes in the sand for my girls beach trip. Only 3 weeks to go! (Counting down the days...)

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That looks like a really fun market.
The old car is really unique in my opinion.

I also really like beets, but none of mine grew this year. Maybe next year I'll get some nice ones.


Bummer about the beets! We actually did get a few in the spring, but we should have planted a lot more. At least a lot of my farmers at the market grow them, so I can get local grown a good part of the year. They're one of my favorites!

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Gotta luv them apples! Have a great weekend!

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I love that vintage car!! The market also looks very interesting!!


That car was too fun to leave out! There was so much to see in that market I think I only covered about half of it. Goodies for everyone!

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What a gorgeous haul you got there! I will have a bottle of your Apple butter and Apple Sauce please, sounds delicious!

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Coming right over! I think I've still got enough to share. I know you've got plenty of local, homemade goodies I'd happily trade for. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Cool market! And thank you for the recipes))


Thanks for checking it out! Hopefully some more apple goodness to share soon. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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The sasquatch though..


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Haha, isn't he cute? Apparently there's a whole Bigfoot museum close by but we've never been. ๐Ÿ˜œ

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Looks amazingly delicious indeed

I love orchards such as that one, which have a nice shop on the inside. There's one just up the road from me (literally, I can leave the development, turn right, and it's just a couple miles away) that looks very similar. The boys used to love it there in the fall - there is a large multi-acre yard with a corn maze, haunted barn, massive slingshots for apples and so forth. The orchard itself makes the most delicious apple donuts, which must consists of 1,000 calories each, so they're a special treat (for me - my youngest gets as many as he wants to try to put on some weight). I haven't gone apple picking yet this year, but might need to sneak an afternoon off work to do so.

You've got me wanting to try my hand at apple butter next, too. I recently used the pressure cooker to help me prepare a pumpkin to puree, which I love to bake with. The pressure cooker is an amazing thing.


Oh man, how awesome to have one so close! It is such a fun fall tradition to go. The orchards often do such a good job of making it a family event. I just love it.

Funny you mention the donuts because that's the one treat my mom wanted! She said she hadn't had one in over 20 years, but it was just as good as she remembered.

The pressure cooker is growing on me. At first I was a bit ambivalent about it, but I've realized it's potential. I want to do the same thing with some of my butternut squash to use for baking, too. Definitely get some apples and give the apple butter a try. I think you'll really enjoy it!

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A nice post, congratulations on your work. This post was manually curated by @minnowsupport . Good vibes.


So awesome! Thanks so much for the support. I appreciate it. :)

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Yum! Kinda jealous here, although I really shouldn't because I feel blessed where I am, but those apples and real stores filled with yummy treats look amazing. Decent supermarkets and food health stores are almost none existed in Cambodia. You have some in teh capital but not where I live... luckily my hubby brings mee goodies from teh capital every weekend... He is my hero in so many ways lol.


The fruit is always greener (?) on the other side, haha! I always drool when I see all your mangoes, too. Sometimes I feel like it's not a good thing to have so many great stores nearby because my food budget tends to go right out the window when I see great buys. Well I suppose there are worse ways to spend my money. ;) That is one benefit of the hubs going in town every week! I know he benefits from all the yummy things you make with what he brings home, too!


Hehe. Can't wait till mango season... At the moment we have a lot of starfruit. And I hear you... My budget would go fast too with all those option around hehe... At least it is a good addiction.

What a wonderful country store, fully stocked with jellies and jams. What a nice touch that vintage car adds to the place.
#farm-mom just used a dehydrator for the first time on some of our herbs, they came out great. She also borrowed it from a friend, and we are also thinking of getting one. The apple butter sure looks tasty.
My mom made a lot of applesauce and always pealed the apples. that was such a big job. Leaving the skin on saves a lot of time, and as you said, so many of the nutrients are found there.
Wonderful and informative post, thanks @plantstoplanks.


Thanks for stopping by. :) That's awesome that she is enjoying using the dehydrator, too! I borrowed it once before and was a little on the fence about it, but it worked out really well for the apples. I also got my hands on some hibiscus to dry for tea, as well. I think it's growing on me this time around. I suppose it's like any appliance, you've got to get a feel for what works before you make your mind up!

Oh gosh, it really does make it so much easier not to peel! I did end up peeling them for the apple butter since I wanted a really smooth consistency, but if I make another batch I might not peel them to see if it comes out pretty similar. Always fun to experiment in the kitchen!


Well if one or the other decide to buy a dehydrator, then maybe we can borrow it from each other.๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

I have been meaning to pop by since you said you'd be making apple butter - it looks divine! So many things to do with apples - and that market? I'd also have spent a lot of time there. Oh, and I created a great roasted carrot (homegrown) and almond (local) salad yesterday for Sunday Supper which made me think of you. Hoping to post it in a bit - when things calm down to a panic!


Ooh, that salad sounds delish! The apple butter really was awesome. We are definitely enjoying it. Really anything made with these yummy apples has been awesome, so no complaints in my fruit-filled world. Takes a bit of time to work through it all, but always worth it for homemade goodness in the end. :)


I love the added reward and feeling of accomplishment from processing stuff myself. I will write up the salad - there's a pic on IG now.... ;)

Wow @plantstoplanks, that beets soup looks so good, my hubby @thebigsweed loves beets and we grow them in abundance in our garden. I'm going to give it a try this week, just to score points with the big guy.
Now that apple butter, woof, my mother-in-law made all things apple every fall. She made applesauce, apple jelly, the family's all time fav, but she also made apple butter to die for, she was the best and I miss her.
Hope you enjoy the week !


Yay for beets! They really are so good. I have some more from the market this week that I think I'm going to roast. Such great memories of your mother-in-law! Food really does bring up so many of those wonderful times with family. I know my family has lots of those that we share, as well. Though I think I'm the first in a while to make apple butter, so I wouldn't be upset to be known for mine in future generations, too. :)

Oh my my! Beats and Butters and old-fashioned cars! You certainly had a busy couple of days. I absolutely love beets and I'm always looked at strangely for saying those words. My Farmers Market has them almost all year long and I'm not sure where they get them because I could never draw him in the winter but perhaps they're using a greenhouse. Apple picking is one of my favorite times of the year and from apple fritters to apple dumplings to Apple Pie 2 apple butter. if it's got a apple in it I'm sure I'll eat it well, you outdid yourself this week and as always you totally amaze me and I Bow Down to you. Thank you so much for supporting the challenge.

Only 2 weeks to beach time! In one week, Denise will be going away for a month and I'll be thinking of you!

#MarketFriday loves you!

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Yay for beach time! In 2 weeks I'll be getting a quick trip finally with a few of my gal pals, too! Though we'll only be gone for a weekend. I am still very much looking forward to that sand in my toes! I can only imagine how amazing that month of yours will be!


Well, some of the days are work (although anytime I get sent away is a win, when the dime is on them!) The rest is sand and sun!

I raise my glass to us and our beach time!

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