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Talk of The Town: September 2018

Mark.Miles By
Mark Miles
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Take a bite out of life

Autumn is on the way with rustling leaves, shorter days, and pumpkin spiced everything. The fall harvest is a bounty of amazing seasonal delights and activities, so this month we’re focusing on a classic — the apple! We’ll explore orchards for packing your bushel, some of our favorite apple pairings and how to make the perfect taffy treat.

A Bushel of Fun | The Perfect Caramel Apple | Spice It Up


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A bushel of fun

1 County Line Orchard

40 miles southwest | 200 S County Line Rd, Hobart IN
Located in northwest Indiana, County Line has 40 acres of u-pick apples to choose from. Take a break with the family to grab a freshly baked doughnut or enjoy s’mores around the campfire.

2 Kuipers Family Farm

55 miles west | 1N318 Watson Rd, Maple Park IL
Take a hayride to the orchard and choose from more than 20 varieties of apples. Visit the general store for caramel apples and more.

3 Prairie Sky Orchard

60 miles northwest | 4914 N Union Rd, Union IL
Open daily, Prairie Sky specializes in 15 varieties of apples and Asian pears. Stop by the farm’s Koffee Kiosk for a warm brew and slice of pie.

4 All Seasons Apple Orchard

65 miles northwest | 14510 IL Route 176, Woodstock IL
Visit the chickens, billy goats, and llamas at the petting zoo and test out the giant jumping pillow to unwind after a day picking Honeycrisp apples — one of the few local orchards where you can grab this variety!

5 Apple Holler Family Farm

65 miles north | 5006 S Sylvania Ave, Sturtevant WI
The dwarf trees at Apple Holler are ideal for the little ones in your life. They have it all — hayrides, a petting zoo, and an onsite restaurant!


01-caramel-apples

The perfect caramel apple

Making an insta-worthy caramel apple at home is within reach. Here are some tips to make your treat picture-perfect!

Choose a high-quality caramel:

It will melt better and go on smoother.

Heat carefully:

Heavier pots (like a Dutch oven) retain heat better. And don’t overheat—this results in a crunchy texture and will make it harder to dip.

Remove the wax:

Apples are often coated in wax to keep them shiny, which actually makes them harder to coat!

Chill your apples:

A cold apple helps the caramel set quicker. Once they’re coated, pop them back in the fridge to help them set.

Use the scoop and spin method:

Place your apple in the caramel, then scoop the caramel onto the apple, twisting as you go.

Less is more:

Let some caramel drip off once it’s coated.

Use parchment:

Wax paper or foil won’t work well.

Coat it in chocolate:

Be sure to let the caramel cool completely before you start.

Slice it:

Cut your apple instead of biting right in for best results!


02-apples

spice it up

Complex and versatile, each apple variety has its own unique flavors, uses, and cheese pairings.

gala

Firm and crisp, this apple has a mildly sweet, vanilla-like flavor and light floral aroma. Generally smaller than most other varieties, this apple is great for kids.
Suggested Uses: Juicing, salads, baking, freezing
Pair with: Cheddar, Goat Cheese, Chevre, Swiss

granny smith

Originating in Australia, this classic apple is known for its bright green color and tart flavor.
Suggested Uses: Salads, baking, cooking
Pair with: Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola

braeburn

Robust with a spicy-sweet flavor, the Braeburn has a crisp bite. This all-purpose apple is perfect for eating on the go.
Suggested Uses: Salads, baking, eating fresh, pies
Pair with: Camembert, Gouda

honeycrisp

Juicy and refreshing, this apple is delightfully sweet with a flavor similar to fresh apple cider. Maximize your fruit by storing in a cool, dry place or refrigerator.
Suggested Uses: Juicing, salads, baking, freezing
Pair with: Blue Cheese, Brie, Provolone, Gruyere


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