October 26, 2010

Community Apple Orchard - Fort Dodge, Iowa

Last weekend Jeffrey and I went to visit family in Fort Dodge.  We had a great time!  The Fort Dodge Farmer's Market is very good, and we were able to pick up a bunch of our new favorite squash, the red kuri.  These squash are a very deep orange-red and are shown on the far right in the picture below.  They're about the same size as the green acorn squash on the far left that you might be more familiar with. 

Red kuri are very flavorful and sweet, maybe just a bit sweeter than butternut squash.  They're great in soups and casseroles, and are the perfect size for stuffing.  I like to slice them in half and bake them in a 350 degree oven with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Allow 1/2 to a whole squash per person. 

We also made time to go to the Community Apple Orchard, even though we were just there in September, because we like a variety of apples, and they don't all ripen at the same time. 

We were greeted by spooky tin scarecrows:

and less spooky tin billy goats (I love these!):

Isn't the fall color great?

Gourds, gourds, everywhere!

We bought a big bag of Haralson apples, because I want to try my hand at making apple sauce.  We got a good deal on the "seconds", which we were assured had never touched the ground.  They're just not cosmetically pretty.  Haralson apples are very crisp and tart - perfect for cooking and baking.  And the young man that helped us make our selection, which involved taste-testing several varieties of apples, was very helpful.  We were impressed that a teenager would know which apples would be best for the chunky applesauce I want to make!

The brown spots aren't bruises and won't affect the flavor at all!

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