A few days ago the earth began to tilt away from the sun. The days are growing shorter and the nights are becoming longer. We are moving into my favorite season - autumn. The heat of summer has faded into my memory and the fall breezes are producing a chill that sends me running for my sweatshirt and sweaters. I am surrounded by many sensory changes. The leaves on the trees are changing color ever so slightly and the sound they produce is crisp and strong, like many hands applauding the entry of a new season. These changes recall memories from my childhood of raking leaves into huge piles that I would jump into with my brothers and friends. The smell of fall is unique and hard to describe. It is perhaps a combination of earth and decay. It is the smell of the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one. I love this time of the year!
Autumn brings back many childhood memories, such as driving with my family to the apple orchard to buy apples and pumpkins. It was a family tradition to spend a day at the apple orchard, smelling and tasting the variety of apples available for us to buy. This tradition continues today. Each year Bob and I head out searching for the ancient apple trees found along the side of the road, once proudly gracing an old homeplace, but now long neglected and all but forgotten. These trees still hold delicious apples and a wealth of history. These are the trees we love to visit. These are the trees we enjoy.
This year, Bob and I moved into our remodeled farm house and he began his own orchard. We had high hopes of a few apples this year, but Mother Nature had other ideas. Spring approached our little holler early this year, drenching us in sunshine and warmth. Our old and young apple trees began to bloom with blossoms that promised an interesting variety of apples in our own backyard. All of the fruit trees came into full bloom and the weather turned cold, very cold, freezing in fact. We lost every single fruit blossom this year, leaving us with no fruit to enjoy. This widespread freeze has forced us outside our two county area, traveling to places untouched by the freezing fingers of Mother Nature. We continue to search and find the apple trees that bring us much satisfaction and joy.
One of my favorite fall pottery projects is making the apple baker. I now feature them on this website in the seasonal category. Two colors, creamy orange and light teal are available. These apple bakers are a great way to bake and serve an apple in one dish. The bakers can hold one cored apple with room for sugar, spices, nuts and any other additions you choose, making the perfect fall dessert. It is a great way to make a quick dessert for one person, or with several bakers, dessert for many guests.
Recently, my youngest daughter and her husband used their apple bakers to create a luscious dessert. Charles' expertise with food and creative presentation are illustrated above. His recipe is also printed here for you to try. I was assured the smell of baking apples and cinnamon filled their house that afternoon. I hope you, too, enjoy the sight and smell of autumn!
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Rolled Oats
1 Tbsp Raisins or Currants
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 - 1/3 Cup Orange Juice
Mix the brown sugar, rolled oats, raisins and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Core 1 apple (peel if desired)
Place apple in apple baker and pack the cavity with the sugar mixture and sprinkle any remaining on top.
Pour orange juice into bottom of baker.
Place butter on top of apple.
Place baker into unheated oven and turn oven on.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes until apple is soft and cooked through.