I feel a chill in the air. A chill for Southern California is 70 degrees, but I'll take it! For me and my family, kicking off the Fall season and the upcoming holidays begins with sweaters, scarves, boots, and . . . apples!
When I was young and we lived on the East Coast my mom would take me and my brothers on a drive to see all the leaves changing. She always knew where to find that perfect romantic farm for picking apples. When we moved to Northern California this wonderful tradition continued and we would go into the hills of Watsonville to a very special place in my heart called Gidzdich Ranch. I still take my kids there when we visit for a slice of fresh pie.
For those who live in Los Angeles, you might think that apple picking is reserved for cooler climates. But there is an area, Oak Glen, located about two hours east where apple farms are abundant. On Fall weekends, my children and I continue this tradition and head to Riley's Farm. They have hills of apples as well as restaurants, shops, and activities--the kids can even hand-dip candles. My kids and I spend the day hunting and picking through the many varieties of apples. Major photo op! We finish it off with a slice of pie and head home.
After a few days of eating fresh apples, then apple pies, crisps, cakes, and muffins, I get creative so the apples don't go to waste.
I share some of my favorite ways to savor the apple at Huffington Post Food.