Stopping to smell the roses... It means not wanting to get so wrapped up in working and shuffling kids to and from sporting events that I forget to breathe. It is September and in Michigan, the roses are not as easy to stop and smell, so instead we have to stop and smell the apple cider. Michigan has an abundance of apple orchards. As a State, we are the 3rd largest apple producing State in our fine Country. Apple picking and Cider Mills are part of a long standing Michigan tradition. I happen to be lucky enough to live in a County that has quite a few within a short drive from my quiet little Village home.
The next orchards we visited was Ashton Orchard in Ortonville, MI. (http://www.michigan.org/property/ashton-orchards/) This little Orchard is home to my absolute favorite cider and donuts. They also have fresh apples, pies that they bake as well as breads. There are a variety of fruits that you can purchase but their Honey Crisp Apples are my favorite. My mother and I stopped in there today with my young nephews to pick up apples and some cider and donuts. The boys also scored Carmel Apples. Aunt Shannon is a sucker for the littles one.
With my cider, I made some cinnamon apple bread. I would like to think this is a one of kind from scratch recipe, but it isn't. I use a boxed Spice Cake mix... The shame...well not really because it is very good.
Speaking of vanilla... My homemade extracts, both have turned very dark in color but I am really loving the smell that the brandy vanilla has. I am beginning to think my crap-shot of an experiment with that combination is really going to work out. The Bourbon vanilla still smells more of bourbon than of vanilla. I am starting to contemplate adding another vanilla bean to the bottle. I will keep you posted.
|My goofy group of Cider Mill explorers|