Sometimes when I pen my weekly column I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to be discussing or presenting. This week after various conversations about ‘apple orchards’, I knew exactly what I wanted to share.
In Missouri we had ample orchards growing up in the Northeast sector of the state. When I moved to Branson West, Missouri, the nearest orchard was about an hour and 10 minutes away in Marionville, Missouri. This means weekend trips only.
One of my favorite memories with my niece and nephews was a simple trip to the orchard in Weston, Missouri. As I recall, it was after lunch and we had journeyed north to pick out apples, with the kids. After we selected pecks of different types of apples I remember grabbing a block of cheese and a gallon of apple cider to add to my tab. I then suggested we drive up to Weston Bend State Park and enjoy the sunshine. Surprisingly I had brought along some sort of crackers, and I had cups for the cider. In the glovebox was my handy dandy parey knife. We threw down a blanket, grabbed all the somewhat simple goodies and enjoyed an afternoon which I have never forgotten. Once again reviving the saying about how it’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy.
Our journey in this life is all about creating memories. Yes, the big vacations were an impact on my childhood. Trips to grandma and grandpa’s house were always an event! But it’s still the unexpected, somewhat ‘surprise’ happenings, that we cherish so very much.
Therefore over the next five weeks I’m going to challenge everyone to make a trip to the local orchard! Even if all the kids are grown and moved away from home, you need to indulge. I’ll even include a recipe or two that you can take with you on the jaunt. Here are a few quick things you need to tuck into the car for the excursion:
1. A blanket
2. Thermos of coffee or cocoa, if it’s cold.
3. Quality Crackers or Baguette Bread
4. Cheese or cheese spread
5. Paper plates/napkins/cutting tool
6. Plastic throw away cups
7. If I’m going; bring a pillow!
Most significantly don’t tell your spouse or the kids/grandkids what you have stashed in the trunk of the car. Let this be a ‘total’ surprise. With that in mind, maybe you better add a camera to the list.
Just tell everyone you are going to pick up apples and you’d like everyone to go along, it won’t take long. Have a picnic destination selected in advance so you just sorta’ arrive there by accident. If it decides to rain deter the picnic part to the living room floor!
Now this is living in my book! I’ve given you two different apple spreads to prepare for the orchard trip. My favorite is just plain peanut butter on apple slices. This is full of protein, and probably better for the kids than the fancy dips. However jump in with both feet and indulge yourselves. I absolutely promise you this is going to be a gigantic ‘memory maker’. The best way to show our love is by example. By the way, I love these two apple dips so much that I like to eat them without the apples, just sayin’…….
If you’re successful in creating a fun trip you have to send me an email and tell me all about it. www.thecovereddish.com
Simply yours, The Covered Dish.
Peanut Butter Apple Spread
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
Apples of choice for dipping
Blend all ingredients together until nice and smooth. Chill & serve.
Whippy Apple Spread
8 ounces cream cheese
7 ounces marshmallow crème
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired
Apples of choice for dipping.
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Serve.