Hello and welcome to basilmomma.com! My name is Heather and I am a food blogger, newspaper columnist, freelance writer and host of Around the Kitchen Sink Radio. I am a busy parent and I write trying to find balance in life as well as in the kitchen. Join me as I share all of my culinary hits and misses....and all of the life that goes along with it!
October 11, 2013 by Heather Tallman with6 comments
Originally Published in the Greenwood Daily Journal October 8, 2011
There is just something about a beautiful, sunny Fall day. The leaves are just starting to change, it is not too warm and the temperature is just right. Living in Johnson County there is literally a bounty of Autumn activities all around us. From hayrides to apple picking, corn mazes to pumpkin patches there is enough to keep you bust every weekend in October.
When I looked at the weather forecast last Friday I was happy to see that it was not only going to be a nice weekend, it was going to be a fantastic one! Temperatures in the high sixties and not a cloud in the sky meant that I was free to plan a weekend outdoors.
First item on the list of activities this particular weekend was going to Kelsay Farms. Nestled in the rolling hills between Worthsville and Tracy Roads in Whiteland this six-generation dairy farm is a real gem. They not only grow corn, soybeans and hay but also have over 500 Holstein cows that are milked 3 times a day. Visit this month and you can enjoy the 5 acre corn maze, which let me tell you is a real challenge. My family splits into 2 teams and we race to see who can get through first. This has been a tradition for us in the fall and the kids really look forward to it! While there, make sure to take a tour of the dairy led by a member of the Kelsay family, play in the corn crib, ride the Moo-Choo Express and get a few fall goodies, too!
On top of the GIANT hay bale mountain! They love this
I just love watching the Holsteins eat. They are about my favorite and these were so friendly!
Noah: the self proclaimed Corn Hole King
Jacob was on my team and he got straight down to business!
This is the card we used to find each station.
At each station you punch the card with the answer.
Jacob was the official ‘card puncher’ !
Next on our list was a trip to Mooresville to visit Anderson Orchard. I don’t know who in my family was more excited to pick apples. My kids are fairly competitive and I gave each of them a bag to pick their own. I needed a few bushels to make apple butter and sauce and my husband wanted a bag of Granny Smiths for the pies he was going to make.
Anderson Orchard has over 150 acres of apples, peaches, plums, nut trees, raspberries,pumpkins and gourds. There is so much to choose from and every popular variety of apple is there and ripe for the picking. The staff is very helpful in finding the right trees to pick from or if you prefer they have pre-packed bags for sale in the cider house. Local preserves, spices and produce are also available for purchase there. Don’t leave without getting a gallon of their sweet apple cider. I always find so many uses for it besides just drinking it.
How to get your kids to eat their fruits and veggies: let them pick their own!
They were determined to get the high ones too!
My picking crew!
Koosha, makes great pies
Arriving back home with the mother load of apples we picked we all got down to business. My kids sorted all of their apples and washed them. They each have a bowl out so they can grab one anytime for a snack. I promptly made an apple cake and used the cider as a lovely marinade for our dinner. My husband made not one but two apple pies from scratch. I have to admit, they were fabulous! Along with all of this I made a nice risotto to accompany our apple themed dinner.
This weekend I hope to get down to Appleworks in Trafalgar for my annual squash and gourd buying trip, but we will see. I may be up to my ears in apple butter by then.
2 Medium sized Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 C dried cranberries
4 C vegetable broth
1 C dry white wine, I used Chardonnay
1 C Arborio rice
2 Tb fresh sage, chopped or 2 tsp of dried rubbed sage
3 to 5 oz container of Gorgonzola cheese, to taste
Extra Virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring vegetable broth and wine to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce and keep warm.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the rice and saute for about 2 minutes or until translucent. Add all but 1/2 C broth mixture to the rice. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring often.
Mix in the sage. Continue to cook until the rice is tender and the risotto is creamy. Add the remaining broth and cook for about 5 minutes longer. The key is to keep stirring.
Mix in the Gorgonzola, apples and dried cranberries and stir to combine. Heat through for 1 minute.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
The sage in this really brings out the flavor. Perfect for a Thanksgiving side dish!
Our dinner on this Apple themed night! I marinated sliced pork loin in apple cider then reduced 1 C of apple cider to drizzle over!! SO good
Heather, one of the traditions I started when my kids were little was to go on a “Pumpkin Run” the first weekend of October — and they continue it to this day (!) — seeking out orchards, fall festivals, family fun times. Your boys will ALWAYS remember the special times you MADE for them. (And that hay bale mountain looks FUN!) Love your risotto recipe, too– just bookmarked it for future comfort food. xo
[...] I adapted this recipe from the original that can be found on my friend Leah’s site at Beyer Beware. She featured this on her Hunk of Meat Monday a few months ago and I knew it would soon make its way into my regular meal rotation! Brown Sugar Chicken served over Gorgonzola Cranberry Apple Risotto [...]