The Pull of Michigan

Photo Credit - MTI

Luminature

Kath Usitalo, a contributing writer for Michigan Travel Ideas, describes how the pull of Michigan brings previous residents home again.

Many of the entrepreneurs I have met in Michigan have a similar story: They left for jobs, relationships or to see the world, but each one returned to their roots. The pull was too strong to resist when they wanted to start a business, raise a family or begin a new part of their lives.

Lori McCarthy spent six years in New York before returning to central Michigan to open Luminature.  Owosso surrounds her with inspiration for her unique, steel lighting fixtures. The shop also sells rustic and nature-theme art and home furnishings handcrafted by local artists.

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Michigan Apples a Family Tradition

Photo Credit - Katie Kimball

An apple will keep a 15-month-old busy nearly the entire trip to the orchard!

Today’s guest blogger celebrates the changing of the seasons, and the Michigan apples that symbolize the advent of autumn for many of us.

Every time the weather blows in a new season, I count myself fortunate to live in Michigan, where we have four of them. The seasons give structure to my year, breathe new life into day-to-day routines, determine what I eat, and keep things fresh.

When the crisp air of fall is on the horizon, our family starts thinking about apples. We start talking about apple picking. We seek out the first apples at the Farmers’ Markets (in late summer) and relish every bite.

Photo Credit - Katie Kimball

While waiting for the tractor to take you back to your vehicle, challenge family members to a throwing contest with the apples already on the ground.

But we really can’t wait for September when we finally head out to the farm, take a tractor to the orchards, and pick bushel after bushel.

We love the family tradition of a trip to the apple orchard each fall.

We love the cheap, easy, healthy snacks that fill our garage.

We love the cinnamon smells of applesauce that fill the house.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, how many doctors are bored, because we generally average 2-3 per person around here?

Photo Credit - Katie Kimball

These apple squares freeze marvelously.

Last fall my 2-year-old daughter would ask for “an apple for the road” daily as we loaded up to drive big brother to kindergarten, approximately ten minutes after she finished breakfast. She usually asked for another mid-morning, and another “for the road” when we picked him up at noon. It’s not uncommon to have an afternoon snack of an apple, and if we go for a walk after dinner, guess what she asked for? (Don’t worry, I don’t actually give her one all those times, but it proves a point. We love our apples.)

If you want to go picking but aren’t sure you can get through your apples quickly enough to really buy in bulk, don’t worry. Preserving apples is simple and extends the bounty of the season throughout the year. Here are 5 ways to keep the apple love going:

Photo Credit - Katie Kimball

Apple flax muffins - grain-free, gluten-free, and delicious for breakfast or lunch!

  1. Dehydrate apple slices with cinnamon. Use a dehydrator or accomplish it in an oven at low temp.
  2. Frozen applesauce
  3. Canned applesauce
  4. Frozen sliced apples (for pie, crisp or cobbler later)
  5. Fruit rolls

Click through for more details on preserving apples all 5 ways or dehydrating apples in a dehydrator.

Visit Michigan’s apple growers to find an orchard near you!

What is your favorite way to eat Michigan apples? Straight from the tree, or in a delicious dish?

Katie KimballKatie Kimball is a mother of three from West Michigan who spends a ton of time in the kitchen making real food with whole ingredients and then blogs about her successes and failures at Kitchen Stewardship. 

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