Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Berries, Apples and The Fair...Oh My!

Leftover Berry Crisp! MMMMmmm

I have so much to share from this past week and weekend. First up this delicious Berry Crisp! I officially did my last blackberry pick last week. The berries were either over-ripe or a bit under-ripe, not like in August where almost every berry was perfect. The squishy over-ripe berries were great for the berry crisp though.

Before I give you the recipe I have a hilarious story to share. I was picking the berries when I started hearing voices coming from the corn field behind the blackberry patch.

I see these 12-13 year old boys destroying someones corn crop. Throwing corn, ripping the plants from the ground, stomping on them, so I had to do something! I kept thinking about what if that was my crop, my hard work and my income. I hear them talking about how "badass" they are for sneaking in to the field, so I hide behind the blackberry bushes and yell out "hey there are little boys ruining the corn! Hunny call the owner and the cops they are trespassing and destroying property." They heard me, got very quiet and then bolted. As they were running away their cool, baggy jeans started falling down. Oh it was the most hilarious thing I've ever seen! I officially felt old and awesome!

Okay back to this recipe, which was made on a whim and AMAZING! The best part about this recipe is it can either be baked or eaten raw. It's delicious both ways!

Maggie's Lovely Berry Crisp
2 cups of Blackberries
2 cups of Blueberries
2 Peaches (optional)

1 cup of Almond Flour
1/2 cup of Dates
1/4 cup of Coconut
1/2 cup of Sunflower Seeds
1/2 tsp of Cinnamon

Place the fruit into a oven safe dish. Then use a food processor to blend the toppings together. The topping mixture shouldn't be a super sticky consistency, so be careful with how many dates you use. Once done use about 1/4-1/2 the topping mixture to coat the fruit. Then take the rest of the topping mixture and spread it on top of the fruit, making an even top layer. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until the topping becomes brown/crisp. If you choose to eat it raw, then forget about baking it and dig in or place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the topping mixture mingle with the berries.

Note:I also tried this recipe using Rice Krispies as an alternative to almond flour and it worked great. I was all out of almonds and Rice Krispies worked amazingly well. You can also play with these measurements, since I threw everything into my food processor and the measurements listed are estimates.

Apple Harvesting

A couple days after blackberry harvesting we went apple picking! My cousin's neighbor was generous enough to share from his tree. There were so many apples hanging off the tree we didn't have to use the ladder we had brought with us. My sister and I picked for maybe 30 minutes and were able to harvest three big boxes of apples.

We don't' know what type of variety this apple is, but they are crisp and tart, perfect for pies and dehydrating. Speaking of which I used the dehydrator for the first time!
Apple Chips

If you are going to attempt this then I recommend you read a dehydrating guide, just in case you run into problems that I do not cover in my directions. I know I had a lot of questions that needed answers when I attempted this.

Wash, peel, core and slice apples into 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. You can do this by hand or you can use an apple peeler/slicer. It can be easier, since slicing the apples is a bit tricky in terms of keeping them a similar thickness. While processing your apples place all slices into a bowl of water/lemon juice. The lemon juice helps delay discoloration. Once done drain and rinse the apple slices. Place them on a dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours at 115 degrees. I did this just before bed and woke up to apple chips! If you are unsure whether your apple chips are dry enough for storage, take a chip and tear it apart. If you see any liquid then they are not dry enough for storage. If they are crisp and/or leathery they should be fine.

Note: Some dehydration guides tell you to blanch the apples in hot water before dehydrating to cut down on the drying time. We didn't do this and they worked out fine. I might try this step next time to see if there is much of a difference. Also other recommendations are to dry the apples at a higher temperature, but I wanted to keep it lower to not kill the enzymes.

This was an experiment for me and my guy, since we had never made apple chips before. We cut about 3 Excalibur trays worth of slices, which made about 3 full mason jars for storage. As of last night they were all gone! Delicious, and flavorful!

The Fair

A playful baby goat

We had our local exhibition/fair over the weekend. We spent about 5 hours there on Saturday and had so much fun. I really think it deserves it's own post since there was so much to see and do. I'll give you a sneak peek though....
We toured the animal area and saw lots of demonstrations on how to properly care for farm animals, which was nice to see. Then it was off to the fair rides, where my lil one was fearless and tried out 5 different rides! Then we viewed the exhibition hall where there were competitions for everything and anything.
From the longest zucchini and I swear it was as long as my leg!

To the make an animal out of locally grown vegetables. I loved this teddy bear! So cute! It's made with potatoes, ripe and unripe blueberries and cherry tomatoes.

Until next post :) Enjoy!


Mary said...

hahaha that's hilarious about the boys!! I bet they got out and told all their friends how they were almost caught by the cops. ;) Little kids like to brag about that lmho.

The recipes look delicious! Apple chips are so yummy but I've never made them at home. Thanks for sharing!

Looks like you had a great time at the fair as well. Those are always so much fun. My aunts and grandma always entered a bunch of crafts and quilts and their annual fair. It was always so much fun! I wish there was one around here.

LittleMissBaker said...

I liked the little veggie teddy bear.Are you going to make another post with other pictures? I would love to see the good looking duck and any other pictures.

Hahah those boy totally deserve it and they need to invest in better running pants lol

Maggie said...

Mary - Those boys probably will do the whole bragging thing. Atleast they seemed somewhat freaked out. I felt bad that they ruined a huge part of that farmer's crop though..sucky!
I've never tried making the apple chips before this either and they turned out awesome! If you get your hands on a dehydrator give it a try :D That's awesome about your aunts and grandma entering their crafts, and quilts at the fair. I thought about maybe doing that next year! It looks like so much fun :)

Maggie said...

Dini (lilmissbaker)- I am going to make another post about the fair :) There was so much to do their and I took a lot of pictures, so a post will be soon!

lol I like your comment on "running pants" that hilarious! Nah those boys were all about style yo...lol

The Raw Butterfly said...

Maggie, how funny scaring off those boys! Great work!

The blackberry crumble looks lovely, one of my personal favoutites growing up, although my Mum usually added apples too.

Look forward to hearing more about the fair but those goats are so cute! xxx

Maggie said...

Raw Butterfly- It was so silly, but i'm glad it worked lol and they didn't get a chance to destroy it even more :D
Ooo that is a great idea about adding apples to the crisp, since I have a huge batch of them I'll do that next time!

Pam said...

You have a cute goatie picture their yourself..he he!...thanks for the wonderful comment! Wish I had a bowl of that Crisp right now!....mmm! Hugs!

Maggie said...

I love goats, so adorable, friendly, playful and loving :) When we were at the fair a few of the children that owned the goats were lying on the ground cuddling them and reading books to them! So cute! Made my lil one LOVE goats and want to bring one home of course! I wish!

Pam said...

Yep, that's goats!...so much fun! Glad your son is a goat lover now..he he! xo

bitt said...

Goat and potatoe bear are so cute! I want some of that crisp. Yum.

Thanks for your comment to me. One doctor suspected I had milked scoliosis that may have caused this condition over time. Painful stuff, as you know.

Maggie said...

Bitt - Potatoe Bear is so cute, that I think I need to make one! And I really wish I had a bowl of crisp this morning.

Scoliosis is painful :( I don't know what I would do if my hubby didn't massage my back every other night. I've only seen a few scoliosis specialists when I was a teenager at the Children's Hospital. I was told there wasn't much funding or research being put into adult scoliosis; therefore, weren't any doctors/specialists to see. I turned to chiroprators, which have been very helpful. I remember being in more pain as a teenager, although, I might just be used to the chronic pain now.

Again thank you for sharing your story with the blogger community. It does help! :)

LittleMissBaker said...

Oh I like your idea for favorite things on your about me page. I was thinking of doing that because Ive made my about page an interview style.But Wasn't sure what kinda favorite things I wanted to do, you gave me ideas now :P

LittleMissBaker said...

Hahah Whenever people mention goats or say the word I always think of "the goat killer" in american Graffiti. He was so freaked out lol

Lori said...

I really enjoy the potato thing. lol Pretty funny. Those zuch's look like my parents'- they're so big!

I'm loving that berry crisp! I love those type of things and yours looks so easy and pretty healthy! I'm in dire need of making this one..

Medifast Coupons said...

Great pictures!
The goat is very handsome, well as far as goats go I guess.
And thanks for the recipe, thinking it will be lovely with some cream.

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Anonymous said...

excellent points and the details are more precise than somewhere else, thanks.

- Joe

blessedmama said...

I am so glad you were able to stand up for that farmer and protect his crop! Those boys needed to find something else to do. Welcome to the old club. :-) Your crisp looks really good, too.

Black22 said...

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