Friday, October 26, 2012

Slow Down With a Trip to the Country

I've teamed up with Lisa from Moore Minutes again this month! Stop by her blog to read all about her family's autumnal picnic.

One way to break up the hectic days of fall, with its busy schedules of school activities, sports events, parties, work, and homework, is a Saturday drive to a nearby orchard for apple picking or nut gathering. As young girls, my sisters and I would accompany our mother each fall to the orchards around Portland where we loaded baskets full of sweet, crisp fresh apples the Pacific Northwest is famous for. Mother would make them into applesauce - canned for use throughout the year, of course - and they'd appear all winter in her comforting baked apple dumplings and famous apple pies. Most varieties of apple store very well, and fresh, delicate slices would find their way from the cooler in our garage into most of our packed lunches.

Another favorite of my mother's were the delicious nuts grown in Oregon. There are those who love nuts and those who don't. We were nut people! There were always huge bowls full of multiple varieties of nuts and crackers ready for easy snacking. A vegan's paradise, Oregon offers a mind-boggling array of the delicious and vitamin-rich foods. Hazelnuts are grown there in great quantities, making Oregon one of the top exporters in the world. English walnuts and chestnuts were also sought out by my mother in the fall.

Gathering food from the countryside can be difficult in these buy times, but I believe that if we make the choice to make quality foods a part of our lives, the ritual of harvesting can be integrated into our routine. To be in touch with nature ensures us a food supply that will truly nourish our bodies and keep us connected to the earth.

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