Novel Baking and an Apple Picnic

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

I’m joining The Novel Bakers for Apple Week,

our book selection, freshly picked by Jain,

The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs,

a delicious and quick read!

 The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs | © #handpies #apple #savory #minipies

The Apple Orchard:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs brings readers to the lush abundance of Sonoma County in a novel of sisters, friendship and how memories are woven like a spell around us.
Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother’s beloved necklace—despite Tess’s advice. To Annelise, the jewel’s value is in its memories.
But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a hundred-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town called Archangel.
The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half sister she’s never heard of.
Against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, Tess begins to discover a world filled with the simple pleasures of food and family, of the warm earth beneath her bare feet. A world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep. A place where falling in love is not only possible, but inevitable.

Picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

I’ll use any excuse to pack a picnic,

so I’m joining The Novel Bakers for a

Fall picnic with apples by the lake~

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

My apple bucket was found ripe for the picking

 from the shelves at HomeGoods,

a couple of weeks ago.

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

 I brought along Redd’s Apple Ale

(ale that reminds me of a hard cider),

to go with an Apple Walnut Salad.

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

No recipe required for this salad~ good anytime time of year, but especially when Honeycrisp, our favorite apples, are in season!

Fill a jar with layers of sliced apples, chicken (I used rotisserie from the grocery store for quick assembly), spinach, blue cheese, walnuts, and dried cranberries~ serve with your favorite dressing. We like balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette.

Apple Walnut Salad | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

I like to use a small cans of pineapple juice, (convenient and  sweeter than lemon juice), for tossing apples or pears in, to keep them from oxidizing when I’m slicing them in advance.

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

There are plenty of tempting recipes in The Apple Orchard. . .

Danish Apple Pie, Caramel Apple Topping, Apple Chutney, Lavender Scones, Grape and Rosemary Focaccia, and Baked Hot Chocolate, to name a few. . .

Savory Apple & Thyme Hand Pies | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

At the mention of an apple and thyme turnover, I pulled out my Apple Pocket Pie Mold from Williams-Sonoma, and went in search of a recipe.

Savory Apple & Thyme Hand Pies | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

 I found a recipe for a turnover, or pocket pie, that is sweet and savory, with the addition of blue cheese and thyme!

You can find the recipe here.

Savory Apple & Thyme Hand Pies | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

I couldn’t resist picking The Apple, part of a Country Life Education Series, found in a stack of books and from a dealer closing shop~

The Apple: A practical treatise dealing with the latest modern practices of apple culture. . . in 1915 :)

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

A little serendipity to find a Gravenstein Apple Box label photo inside~  the legendary Gravenstein, grown in Sonoma, California has a role in The Apple Orchard~

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

“The Gravenstein apple  (Danish: Gråsten-Æble) comes from Gråsten in South Jutland, Denmark. The fruit ranges in color from yellow-green to crimson and has a tart flavor, perfect for cooking and making apple cider. this is an ephemeral variety that doesn’t keep well, so it should be enjoyed fresh from the orchard.”

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

“A trio cluster of glossy, crimson-striped Gravensteins hung several feet out on a branch above his head.”


“He moved his ladder to the next tree, positioning it for maximum efficiency and climbed to a lofty perch. There, his head above the branches, he inhaled the glory of the morning– the redolence of the air, the quality of light filtering through the mist, the contours of the land and the distant haze of the ocean.”

Savory Apple & Thyme Hand Pies | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

And another bit of serendipity to find my

Pfaltzgraff Plymouth apple plates

were just the right size to serve apple pies~

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

“Sometimes you stumble across a treasure

when you’re looking for something else entirely.”

Apple Gorgonzola & Thyme Pies inspired by The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs | © #handpies #apple #savory #minipies

The Apple Orchard is a story of family ties—both old and new—and of the moments that connect our hearts.

Novel Bakers 3

Joining The Novel Bakers for Apple Week.

Hope to see you again on Wednesday, October 16th!

Visit Jain and Michael Lee for more delicious fun:

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm

As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase anything through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Apple picnic by the lake | © #apple #picnic #lake #fall

Thank you for your visit!


  41 comments for “Novel Baking and an Apple Picnic

  1. Valerie H.
    October 14, 2013 at 5:07 am

    LOVE this post! Thanks for all of your efforts that go into this blog.

  2. Mary Ewing
    October 14, 2013 at 5:18 am

    You are a GENIUS! Your creations are gorgeous, warm and inspiring!
    Initially discovered you on Pinterest when I saw your beautiful fall arrangements including what I recognized to be my grandmother’s china. A lovely memory! I especially love your fall and Halloween tablescapes, along with your lovely apple picnic – charming!!! Thank you for sharing, and looking forward to following you!!

  3. October 14, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Good Morning Mary, It is always such a pleasure to visit you as everything you share with us is such a feast for the eyes.
    I love apple and walnut salad and you have presented it beautifully in your kilner jar. The apple turnover with blue cheese and thyme sounds really interesting, as I associate apples turnovers with sweetness. So I will certainly be trying these delicious turnovers.
    I could go on and on extolling the treasurers shown in your photographs, but I will simply say, thank you, I have had a wonderful visit.
    Best Wishes to you,

  4. October 14, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Your blog makes my day! With the pictures and recipes! I do wish the recipes were easier to print as it is hard for me to write them out by hand! Thank you for the inspiration that you give so freely! Life should be beautiful and you help us do that!

  5. October 14, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Looks like a wonderful way to spend the afternoon Mary! Lovin’ all the apple goodies:@)

  6. October 14, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I’m going to call you the picnic girl! Wonderful post. Autumn=apples and apple pie — my favorite pie.


  7. October 14, 2013 at 6:50 am

    I love your apple salad in the jar! Can’t wait to see what everyone shares for apple week!

  8. October 14, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Love the apple theme. The bucket is such a nice seasonal touch. Love the view of the lake. Have a great day…..Candy

  9. October 14, 2013 at 6:53 am

    i woke up to the brilliant moon on the water at 2 am, unable to go back to sleep, finally, near 4 am i thought i would see whats happening in apple town… what a reward! that picnic is so wonderful, your tray is so cute, i have a bit of apple envy…

    can you imagine how glorious your pics look in the wee hours of the night? they are stuff dreams are made of, well if one could sleep and dream that is! if i was lucky a fairy would have stocked my fridge with salad for breakfast, it looks fabulous! and if i had the luck of the irish, i would have a pot of golden apple pies to double my pleasure! what a fabulous combo for a tart, brilliant choice!

    oh your book… be still my heart, what a charming addition! and you know i have gone label crazy lately too!

    I LOVE EVERY SINGLE BITE OF YOUR POST! the plates, towel, books, food, location, flowers, fallness, crispness by the cool still waters, WHAT A TREAT! thanks so much for kicking my apple lust into full drive in the predawn hours, i can’t wait to check back in the daylight over and over again!

  10. October 14, 2013 at 7:17 am

    The apple and walnut salad in a jar is a great idea ! Especially for tail gating at a football game. You are very inspirational and creative!

  11. October 14, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Wonderful apple post, Mary. Beautiful, too!
    Every time you make one of those jar salads, I tell myself I am going to do that. I think this would be perfect for our Big Cedar getaway. By the time we get to the cabin, we will only want to relax on the deck. I should put together a jar salad and a couple other things for a picnic. Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. October 14, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Adorable hand pies! Fun post, Mary!

  13. Cheryl
    October 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Oh so happy the Novel Bakers are back…and with my favorite, apples! I love apple anything, so this post is the apple of my eye. Lovely lakeside picnic, beautiful photos, wonderful food, and that vintage book is the bomb! :) :) :)

  14. October 14, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Good morning from S. Florida…where I am still staying while recuperating from acute bronchitis…Your post this morning goes a long ways towards making me feel better!

    I read The Apple Orchard a few months ago and loved the book. It was one of those I didn’t want the story to end, although I was pleased with the ending.

    Beautiful post as usual, Mary…

  15. October 14, 2013 at 9:22 am

    The apple is such a magical fruit and you have honored it in so many wonderful ways! The apples surrounding the book in the basket topped with a pie, oh my! I can’t wait for the recipe, I can just about taste it, apples and bleu cheese and flaky pie crust has to be heaven! Honey crisp apples are on my list so I can make your salad right away, it looks so lovely layered in that large jar~what a beautiful day to enjoy a picnic with a good book and a glass of cold ale…of course now after seeing the lake and your goodies the last thing I want to do is the Monday laundry and errands…but I will think of the quilt on the grass and dream of curling up with an apple snack later :)

  16. paula
    October 14, 2013 at 9:35 am

    What a wonderful picnic, I love apple,cranberry, chicken salad!! And the apple pies, tooo cute! I bet they are yummy!
    I look forward to seeing everything you share with us, what a gift you have!
    have a sweet day !

  17. Franki
    October 14, 2013 at 9:41 am

    An apple tart a day keeps….mama happy!! franki

  18. Irene
    October 14, 2013 at 10:15 am

    What a lovely post, Mary! My mouth is watering for a crisp apple dessert and my heart is longing for a picnic!

  19. Peggy Thal
    October 14, 2013 at 10:26 am

    So pretty!

  20. October 14, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I love your apple picnic! Going to make that wonderful salad too :)) Pretty, pretty quilt.

  21. October 14, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I love your jar salads and never remember to do that. Your apple picnic is fabulous, loove the basket, the dishes the books, everything!!! Every post you do is a feast for the eyes and taste buds!!!!

  22. Ellen
    October 14, 2013 at 10:51 am

    You are SUCH a Romantic! Lovely

  23. October 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Oh my! Your post, with its wonderful apple vignettes leaves me craving apples! Always a feast for the eyes! Thanks so much!

  24. October 14, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Mary, your lakeside picnic is perfection. Believe it or not, it is actually raining here. I returned home from a week away, and Saturday night we had over 12″ of rain. Raining again this morning, so no picnics for me. ;-)
    I was greeted with a delicious apple pie though. We’ve been savoring each slice. Love seeing all your apple treats. The quilt is filled with beautiful fabrics. I want to sit and study each square, as I want to study that charming vintage book. I’ll definitely pick up a copy of this book, and also need to pull out my WS mini apple mold to replenish the apple pie situation here. Thanks for this applelicious post! ~ Sarah

  25. Rattlebridge Farm
    October 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    As I read your lovely post today, Dr. Will peeked over my shoulder and asked if we could have a picnic. He will love your apple-walnut salad (a light version, as he’s trying to lose weight before surgery). Your setting is gorgeous. I can almost smell the scent of apples and feel the soft Southern wind as it dances across the lake. You’ve captured the essence of The Apple Orchard with your photos and words. So much to enjoy today. I never thought to use pineapple juice to keep apples from turning brown; the little cans will be perfect. Note to self: find jars!

  26. October 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm


  27. Mary
    October 14, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    A beautiful & inviting picnic :) Thank you for sharing it with us.

  28. October 14, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    What a wonderful post. Great ideas, book and recipes. Love the quilt. Thanks for sharing.

  29. October 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I am craving anything with apples now but can’t wait for the blue cheese and thyme apple tart recipe. I love the novel bakers posts. I am mesmerized by each one. Your quilt, with all the fall embellishments next to the water on that beautiful grass is stunning. I would love to be relaxing and eating there.

  30. Deborah
    October 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Love the little apple hand pies! Adorable! My husband and I combine our talents to make apple pies for all our friends at this time of year; he makes the most tender pie crust and I make the most awesome filling! This is a beautiful post for a beautiful time of year.

  31. October 14, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    What a pretty picnic blanket you have set. Your apple salads are a fabulous idea (and I love the tip of using pineapple juice in place of lemon.) Sweet little apple hand pies, and your vintage apple book, love those kinds of books! Gravensteins were my father’s favorites, he got hooked on them as a boy at the summer home in Sonoma County ~ you brought back a flood of memories Mary. I really enjoyed this post. Once again, I thank you for sharing your magic with us. xoxo

  32. October 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    What a delicious post! Can’t wait to try these apple recipes. I had hard cider in Ireland and loved it but couldn’t find anything similar here so will try the apple ale!

  33. October 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Mary, I love this post with all the apple goodness AND a picnic too! And is that a dishtowel I see tucked into a corner? Did you know I collect dishtowels? Well, you are probably not surprised as it seems I collect everything. I have them from all our travels. That old book with the labels is a wonderful find. Looking forward to more apple heaven. Linda

  34. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life
    October 15, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Oh my goodness, again, your picture the fabulous quilt and how you have everything arranged is so beautiful and then all the fabulous food. You constantly amaze me. I love everything. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  35. October 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Beautiful quilt and those little apple pies look delish. Beautiful pictures and lovely setting.

  36. October 16, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Hi, I’m new here visiting from the WOW party. I’m so glad I stopped by. This picnic is absolutely picture perfect. I love the idea of an apple picnic in the Fall. You have great style & taste. I would love to invite you to visit Curate by Carrie Corson & share this at our new link party Modern Cottage Mondays:)

  37. October 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    This sounds like a wonderful book and you only enhance the desire to read it by showing us the beautiful images that coincide with the book…you amaze me with every post…so enjoyed this Mary!!!

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Home is Where the Boat Is

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading

%d bloggers like this: