Sunday, October 24, 2010

apples and oranges

Can you feel it in the air?  It's fall!

One of my favorite things to do during this season is head on out to a charming little place called Apple Hill.  It's a beautiful collection of Christmas tree farms, pumpkin patches, fudge shops, craft stores, wineries, and (of course) apple orchards situated in the beautiful foothills near Lake Tahoe.

This time of the year, the apple orchards are so crowded that you actually have to park in the orchard!

People come from miles around to stock up on freshly picked apples in varieties that you will never see in a grocery store.

Even more people line up for a taste of apple cider, apple wine, apple olive oil, apple pie, apple dumplings, and one of the best culinary creations known to cider donuts.

There are corn mazes...

...crafts booths (don't you just love this fall decoration?)...

...craft sheds selling all of my favorite Gooseberry Patch books...

...and tons of fall produce!

My favorites were these little guys...I think they are called Turk's Turbans.

All of the fall fun at Apple Hill inspired me to do a little fall decorating of my own.

Ironically, I chose to carve some oranges. :-)

Yep, I said oranges!

Oranges can be carved just like pumpkins much more quickly and with much less mess.  With a tea light inside, orange jack-o-lanterns make the perfect fall decor, especially when sitting on candlesticks.

It's incredibly easy to do.  First, draw the face...

...and draw a circle on the top - you need an opening, after all.

Use a craft knife to cut into the peel, and then scoop out the insides with a spoon or melon baller.

These are fun...make a bunch!

This recipe is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday , Tasty Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table
Also linked to Foodie Friday


  1. Those are beautiful photos. I love this time of year too! Cute idea for the tea lights. :-)

  2. Fun autumn photos!!! I love this time of year!!!

  3. How cute!! Great job! Loved the pictures!

  4. Apple Hill sounds like a little slice of heaven. I'll bet those orange lanterns smell wonderfully when lit. La

  5. What wonderful photographs! Those squashes and pumpkins are just beautiful. And I love your orange jack o'lanterns - what a great idea!

  6. oh my goodness, how genius! This would be great to do with kids too ;) This would be a perfect decoration for my office!

    Also, I wish I could go apple picking with you! We would have SO MUCH FUN! :)

    Thank you for linking this to Gold Star Wednesday!

  7. How cute! I bet they smell nice & citrus-y with the votive inside too :-)

  8. Too cute! I love the idea of a little tealight inside - I'll be the aroma is wonderful!

  9. That is such a brilliant idea! I can never manage carving a pumpkin so this year our green grocer is doing it for us!

    I have never seen so many varieties of pumpkin either-incredible!

    Best wishes and happy weekend,

  10. I'm lovin' your orange Jacks:@) What a fun and fragrant idea!

  11. What a cute idea! I never would have thought to carve an orange. I love the idea!

  12. Now that is creative! What a great idea when carving a big pumpkin is too big a project!
    Too cute!

  13. You just sent a wave of homesickness through me. We used to live in Shingle Springs and frequented Apple Hill in the summer and Fall. Fall was best because of all the good produce and the fun crafts. Thank you for the pics of one of my most favorite places in the fall. Joni

  14. Joni has told me all about Apple Hill. Your pictures are gorgeous. Love all the squash and gourds. What a fun idea to carve oranges too.

  15. Beautiful fall photos and a charming little pumpkin. I'll bet it smells great when a candle is burning inside.

  16. wow, new great idea...will try it with my kids, thanks for sharing! happy halloween! :)

  17. Lovely - we're in the middle of apple country too. I love the variety of varieties we can get :). Love your orange idea too. Happy FF.


  18. this post TRULY made my heart happy:) Love, love, loveee it!

  19. OK! I have to ask- how do you keep it from getting all dried out and shriveled?? It can't last more than a day or two- no? Please let me know!?

    1. So first, these are definitely not long-term decorations - you are right about that! If I'm having a get-together and want to use these for decorations, I make them the day of. They are easy and quick, and when made fresh, they give off a lovely aroma when there's a candle burning inside.

      To make them last a little longer, you can try spreading vaseline liberally on the inside of the peel to lock in moisture. It might extend the life by a day or two, but it would also diminish any orange fragrance you get when you burn them.


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