It's by far my favorite part of the year. In Portland the weather tends to be good. We tend to have Indian summers that last well into September. The mornings are cool and crisp and the afternoons remain a perfect 70-75 degrees. We have the occasional rainy/ grey day, but it usually does't last long.
But, aside from the weather here. Fall is my favorite part of the year because it's a time for sweaters, boots and all things apple spiced. The warm scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice fill the air. Combined with apples is a match made in heaven.
Portland has awesome local apple farms and groves. You can stop by a farm such as Oregon Heritage Farm and pick up apples and visit their small store. This is a totally family friendly farm that has some goats and sheep for petting, a rope maze and a apple bounce house! I love to come for a quick pick up Johnagold and Honey crisp apples.
If you have more time or want to pick your own apples Smith's Berry Farm is awesome. As the name suggests this farm is also great for summer berry picking. They have a cute farm store that has fresh vegetables and a small cafe.
Today was a near perfect day to go apple picking. The weather wasn't too hot or too cold. I got to Smith's Farm and got setup with a bucket to put our apple's in. The woman gave me directions to the orchard and sent me on my way. I reached the rows of trees and began searching for the perfect apples. I only wanted a few pounds of apples. Enough to make an apple crisp, some smoothies for the week (checkout my apple crisp smoothie recipe) and a few for on the go snacks. It took me 10-15 minutes to pick 5 lbs of apples.
I went back to the small store and set my bucket aside to be weighed. I also picked what i could find of some fall raspberries. The variety is called Anne Raspberries. They are a golden color, but last just as good as regular raspberries. These raspberries come on in August and so i caught the tail end of them. I still managed to pick up a pint of those as well to take home with me. I picked up some fresh yams, onions and squash as well. I checked out and headed home.
Upon arriving home I quickly got to making a fresh pan of apple crisp. My favorite simple and easy recipe for crisp is as follows:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash and cube apples into 1" in chunks. In a medium sized bowl place apple chunks, 1/4 a cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp of apple pie spice or cinnamon. Gently coat the apples in the sugar.
3. In a separate medium sized bowl mix 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup of rolled oats or old fashioned oats and 4 tbsp of chilled butter in chunks. Mix the ingredients until they become a crumble mixture.
4. Place the apples in 8x9 pan and top with the crumbled top mixture. Bake for 45-55 mins.