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!
#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.
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~
My apple bucket was found ripe for the picking
from the shelves at HomeGoods,
a couple of weeks ago.
I brought along Redd’s Apple Ale
(ale that reminds me of a hard cider),
to go with an Apple Walnut Salad.
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.
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.
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. . .
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.
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.
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 :)
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~
“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.”
“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.”
And another bit of serendipity to find my
were just the right size to serve apple pies~
“Sometimes you stumble across a treasure
when you’re looking for something else entirely.”
The Apple Orchard is a story of family ties—both old and new—and of the moments that connect our hearts.
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:
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.
Thank you for your visit!