Apples, Apples, and More Delicious Apples

by Laura on October 4, 2011

in Traditions

“When are we going to the Gravenstein Apple Fair?” the kids asked a day or so after returning from our 3-week camping vacation.

“We missed it,” I said apologetically, “We were on vacation.”

“What?!!?” they screamed in unison, as their shoulders drooped and they donned sad looks on their faces as if I had told them they could never have another piece of chocolate for the rest of their lives.

You see, the Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastapol is a family tradition. We have been attending for the past several years, enjoying the music, crafts, hay mazes, face painting, applesauce eating contests, the petting zoo, and apple fritters.

Through the years, the memories of the fair are embedded into our lives– Grayson losing (and swallowing) his first tooth while eating an apple fritter, the fun creating apples wrapped in pastry or towering blue ice cream cones –The kids look forward to this late summer family tradition, and I too, felt a bit sad we missed it.

“Oh well,” I thought, “we’ll enjoy it that much better next year.”

But that hasn’t been the end of it. The kids just won’t let it go. They still bring it up at least once a day, reminding us that we missed it and that they weren’t happy about it . . . as if Greg and I had this grand plan to be camping far away from Sebastapol, so as to keep them from having fun.

So, the best that I could do was to give them a taste of the festival. No, I didn’t pull out the musical instruments and play them a song, I didn’t gather hay bales and fashion them into a maze in the front yard. I didn’t cart them to the local ice cream shop in search of bright blue ice cream. Instead, I do what I do best. I dug into my recipe folder and pulled out a recipe that could help bring the festival to our home. But first, I ran to the store to grab some delicious Graventein apples.

With no time to make a pie today, I decided on the quick and easy Parisian Apple Crisp. Literally, I made it while dinner was cooking, and I still had time to drill Grayson on his math skills (my last-minute attempt to make sure he didn’t forget everything during summer break).

I had to cajole the kids to finish their dinners, as after a few bites, they announced that they were finished and ready for dessert. It took all of 30 (Ok, maybe 45) seconds for us to devour the apple crisp. And, I had to remove the temptation from the table, so we would be sure to save some for Greg once he made it home from work.

A day later, they ask after dinner, “Do we have another apple crisp for dessert?” Obviously I haven’t sated their appetite for apples, so I head back to the market for some more of the tangy, sweet-tart apple is perfect for eating fresh as well as for cooking and baking. The Gravenstein is also known as a perfect sauce apple—which is exactly what I’m making right now.

Note: If you can’t find Gravenstein at the market, choose another good cooking apple such as Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Fuji, Mcintosh)

Easy-to-Make Applesauce

  • Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
  • 3 inches of cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • up to 1/4 cup of white sugar (depends on the sweetness of your apples, and your personal taste)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Place all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher.

Other favorite Family Eats recipes

Apple Fritters

Crock Pot Apple Pie

Parisian Apple Crisp

Pear Pockets (substituting apples, of course!)

Apple Strudel

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