Apples, Autumn, and Acorns

Yesterday I participated in an American Fall tradition: apple picking. On arrival at our destination, County Line Orchard, we jumped on a trusty old tractor named ‘Emma.’ Emma then delightfully escorted us through the lush Fall foliage to our apple picking destination.

Although, because it wasn’t a great season for apples, we took part in ‘observing and admiring’ the apple trees and then snapped up our fresh apples out of wooden grates (you know, basically the same thing as picking them ourselves). I was partial to the honey crisp, delish!

I was thinking as I greedily grabbed as many apples as I could carry, if I have too many to actually eat, I could just do what Dan did on HGTV’s Design Star for some festive Fall decor…

There was also a pumpkin patch for those preparing for the Halloween season. I, however, did not partake in this tradition as I am still trying to wash my memory of the last pumpkin I purchased (& then forgot about for 6 months), which to my surprise turned into a moldy surprise…eewww.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the best part of this tradition: the homemade apple-cinnamon doughnuts and apple cider deliciousness of the whole ordeal.

The doughnuts were such a treat for an autumn afternoon that I decided I want to try baking them myself and found a good looking recipe online (I’ll let you know how it goes!):

Apple Cider Doughnuts

1 cup Apple cider
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Solid vegetable shortening
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Buttermilk
3 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp.Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
Vegetable oil or shortening -for frying
1 cup cinnamon-sugar mixed

Boil apple cider in small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes; cool. Beat sugar with shortening until smooth. Add eggs and mix well, then add buttermilk and reduced cider. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in another bowl. Add to liquid ingredients; mix just enough to combine. Transfer dough to lightly floured board and pat to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3-inch doughnut cutter; reserve doughnut holes and reroll and cut scraps. Add enough oil or shortening to fill a deep pan 3 inches; heat to 375’F. Fry several doughnuts at a time, turning once or twice, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove to paper towels with slotted spoon. While still warm, shake a few at a time in a paper bag containing cinnamon sugar. Let cool.

With so much fresh and scrumptious food and drink, I was thinking what other way to enjoy apples, cider and doughnuts than with family and friends on a crisp, Fall day. And no party would be complete without festive decoration! One of favorite resources for seasonal decor, Better Homes & Gardens, had some great interior ideas in one of their recent issues:

via Better Homes & Gardens
via Better Homes & Gardens

By having a neutral wall color and neutral table, the space will feel a big POP! from brightly colored accents. And I really LOVE the color scheme they used here with subdued tans and deep red and aqua accents.
via Better Homes & Gardens
via Better Homes & Gardens

Acorns painted in (red and aqua) accent colors and adorned on branches make for a sculpturally seasonal centerpiece.

And, how adorable is this acorn printed accent pillow? Adding colorful and patterned accent pillows can help bring depth and intrigue to a space.

via Better Homes & Gardens
via Better Homes & Gardens

For more Fall ideas, check out their website, BHG.

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