Apples at market

Falling into Flavors and Memories of the Season

Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Kelly Wilson, Southeast Michigan, Stories

As sad as I am to see summer go, I am ready for the fall. I love the way the golden light hangs in the trees this time of year, how cozy the foggy mornings are, and the changing colors of the trees. My favorite things about the season, however, are the food (surprise, surprise!) and the many fall flavors. These connect me to happy memories of shared meals and conversation with family and friends.

The fall food that pulls strongest at my heartstrings is the humble and versatile apple. This fruit always conjures up my Grandma Wills and I cannot see a Northern Spy apple without feeling her presence or tasting her “famous” apple pie. The thought of her pie’s perfect flaky crust, warm and gooey apple filling, a dollop of ice cream or a slice of sharp cheddar cheese on top send me back to time spent in her kitchen; one of the reasons I pursued a career in food and agriculture. I’m forever grateful she taught me how to make her perfect pie before she passed so every time I bake and eat it she is there with me.

Apples also bring back memories to my first farm job in Minnesota. Before leaving for the fall, we gleaned apples from a neighboring farm littered with hundreds of decrepit Volvos (I swear it looked like they were farming cars rather than fruit!). The apples we picked became golden sauce after hours of peeling with Beth and her young boys. A slightly more “formal” apple picking experience in New Hampshire made me fall in love with the East Coast and my cohort of dietetic interns. The time in the orchard catalyzed personal and professional relationships that are still strong almost a decade later. These memories are strong examples of why I love food. Not only does it nourishes us physically, but also spiritually; it draws us together and connects us strongly to people and place.

As the weather turns cooler this fall season, I hope you can slow down, open up a cookbook, and share some food and memories with your loved ones. If you want to try your hand at a simple dish, try this delicious apple cake. The recipe comes courtesy of my grandmother, Frances Wills, and is shared with you in love. Note that this cake is best shared as the flavor improves in the presence of good company.

apple cake recip

Want to learn more about Michigan apples? Check out this guide from Michiganapples.com

Looking to pick your own apples or make memories with fresh cider and donuts? See this map from our friends at edibleWOW magazine.

Kelly Wilson, RDN is the SE Michigan Local Food Coordinator for Taste the Local Difference and owner of Simple Gifts Farm in Oxford, MI. Contact her at kelly@locadifference.org

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Fork in the Road: An Orchard with Deep Roots

Alex Harrison, Edible WOW, Find Local Food

It’s official—2008 is the year of the “staycation.” The convergence of soaring gas prices mixed with our sleepy economy is prompting more of us than ever before to forgo the annual family road trip in favor of a more localized approach to vacationing. Spicer Orchards in Fenton is a weekend oasis for families looking for a local, wholesome outing with healthy souvenirs.

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Edible WOW: Cooking Fresh this Summer

Economy, Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Recipes, Southeast Michigan

Protect your health and environment by making conscientious food choices. According to the Center for science in the Public interest, “eating healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way” is important to repair our food system. spending some of your food dollars on food produced locally secures our food system by decreasing pollution from long-haul transportation and health scares created by cheap, industrial-scale agriculture. The advantage of knowing where your food comes from, who grows it and how they treat the land, and knowing your money is going right back into your community is significant. The freshest, ripest, best-tasting foods are easy to find right now at your local farmers’ markets and community farms.

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Oodles of Strudels: A Whirlwind of Old World Pastries Sweeten Allen Park

Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Rebecca Powers, Southeast Michigan, Specialty Producers, Stories

Rare things happen in the most unremarkable of places. Outside a narrow Downriver building, where gaps in vertical blinds reveal little more than a few windowsill houseplants, only a small sign— Hungarian Strudel Shop—hints at the Old World process within. Inside, just beyond a display case of fresh-baked confections and a framed photograph of Hungary’s ornate parliament building, is a barebones backroom where the morning activity is nothing short of fascinating.

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Taste the Local Difference & Edible WOW announce Partnership

Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Press Release, Southeast Michigan, Tricia Phelps

SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN – Taste the Local Difference®, Michigan’s local-food marketing agency, and edibleWOW, Southeastern Michigan’s seasonal local food magazine, have announced a new partnership to support the local food economy of Southeast Michigan.

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Stewards of the Land : Stone Coop Farm is a Quiet Tribute to Sustainability and Reinvention

Cara Catallo, Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Stories

When Joannée DeBruhl’s 21-year insurance industry job fell victim to cuts, she saw a window of opportunity in the form of establishing a church garden. DeBruhl did more than produce 2,000 pounds of vegetables for Gleaners Community Food Bank. She found her calling. DeBruhl dedicated the next year to confirming that and honing her skills at Michigan State University’s Organic Farmer Training Program.

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Growing in Winter : Plastic Shelters let Farmers Extend the Season

Annette Kingsbury, Economy, Edible WOW, Find Local Food

Michigan’s growing season is frustratingly short. But at the Royal Oak Farmers Market, “We’re a booming market all year round,” says Robin Richardson, the market’s manager of event planning. “You can come to the market on any given Saturday and buy a tomato.”

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Fresh Approach: Detroit Public School Ditches Fryers, Can Openers

Edible WOW, Guest Post, Nina Ignaczak, Stories

It’s a typical Thursday morning, and Detroit Public Schools’ Office of School Nutrition Executive Chef Kevin Frank is chopping carrots and celery for a school catering event, directing staff on lunch prep and coordinating with vendors to place orders and schedule deliveries. All the while, he’s thinking ahead to what he’ll serve on next month’s menu.

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Detroit Vegan Soul: A Regional Destination with a Neighborhood Soul

Edible WOW, Find Local Food, Guest Post, Nina Ignaczak

Late on a Sunday afternoon in Detroit’s West Village, lazy brunch-goers cozy up to mugs of organic coffee and dirty chai. It’s frigid outside, but inside Detroit Vegan Soul patrons are toasty as they linger over stacks of sweet potato pancakes and plates of “catfish tofu” with black-eyed peas and collard greens.