Sunday morning I got up and decided to whip that cornbread into a sweet bread pudding for brekkie. I kind of winged it and in hindsight should have looked at a recipe before diving in to get a more appropriate custard thing going on, but… I also added raisins, pecans, amaranth (because it is AWESOME), cinnamon, and ginger. It was pretty good, but not really worthy of recipe-ing; my ladyfriend said it was “interesting and delicious.” Here is the dishful:
And here is how we ate it, with some cinnamon-cardamom-tossed Haralson apple slices (I’m really loving Haralson apples this year along with, of course, my beloved Honeycrisp):
After a few errands, I went to a couple apple orchards with some friends from work. It was about a 45 minute drive from Minneapolis, which isn’t too bad, really, to the Carpenter Nature Center and the Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard. They’re right next door to each other in Hastings, MN.
I really like the Carpenter Nature Center because they practice integrated pest management to avoid using pesticides whenever possible (they’re not certified organic but they practice a lot of sustainable growing), plus they’re quieter and have a nature center with tons of hiking trails. Last year my best friend and I hiked down to the St. Croix River to drink tea and eat apples and sandwiches on a chilly, gray autumn day. We started here and picked some raspberries, which are still in season until the first hard frost:
Next door, the Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard is more of the traditional family destination, with bunnies, goats and chickens, a tractor pull, a corn maze (pardon me, the Amazing Maize Maze), a pumpkin patch, and the option to pick your own apples. We rode on the tractor pull out to the corn maze where we spent a good 20-30 minutes inside trying to find our way out to the other side – I’m telling you, it was HUGE. (There were a lot of Children of the Corn jokes in there, too.) We emerged in a pumpkin patch, where many had been piled up for easy picking:
We got back, picked up some apples and goodies from their store, drank some fresh cider, and headed back home again. I love apple orchards! They are so lovely and autumnal, and I always seem to get lucky and go on cloudy, brisk days (that’s my favorite kind of fall weather).
After getting home, I started work on some pizza dough for dinner. I used the Vegan With A Vengeance recipe for the first time, and from now on it will be my go-to recipe. It worked out great! The only thing I did differently was use 2/3 whole and 1/3 all-purpose spelt flours; spelt has less gluten so it’s not as stretchy but this was by far the best spelt crust I’ve ever made at home, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. We went to the YWCA while it was rising, came back home and chopped up a bunch of CSA veggies, harvested basil from our plant to make pesto and voila! a pesto pizza was born unto us. (Please excuse the poor lighting in this picture.)
The only thing that could have made this day any better was if I’d had time to whip up some apple-y concoction for dessert, but I’m pretty content with how it all went.