Woof Trekking in Willcox: Apple Picking and Cowboy Crooning

Woof Trekking in Willcox: Apple Picking and Cowboy Crooning

posted in: Dispatches, On the Road, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

The official start to fall isn’t until next month, but with local schools back in session, it’s easy to get lost in a bit of autumnal enthusiasm. In this spirit, we share today’s post.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

Apple Annie’s is our favorite Pick-Your-Own Produce spot in Southern Arizona. It is located near Willcox, a small city with three main attractions. The first is Wings Over Willcox, a birding/nature festival in January focused primarily on the annual Sandhill Cranes migration stop in Willcox. The second is Rex Allen, who we’ll discuss more in a minute. The third is Apple Annie’s.

 
We have visited Apple Annie’s twice, once in 2010 without the dogs and again in 2012 with the dogs, once we discovered pets are allowed in the orchards.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

Their orchards feature many varieties of apples, pears, and peaches, all available for purchase by the pound.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona 5

Izzy and Nana quite enjoyed roaming through the rows of fruit trees, sniffing everything they could. They didn’t attempt to eat anything, although they do enjoy a bit of sliced apple as a snack at home. Apple seeds contain cyanide and consumed in large quantities can be dangerous for dogs.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona


Pets are not allowed in the produce and pumpkin section of Apple Annie’s. Luckily, we had already visited that area in 2010.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

They had a huge field of sunflowers, pumpkins and squash galore, as well as plenty of row crops like green beans, tomatoes, and chili peppers.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

With our bags full of produce, we headed back toward Willcox. Our next stop was a visit with the city’s favorite son: Rex Allen. The actor, singer, songwriter and narrator was a contemporary of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

Rex Allen is celebrated in Willcox every fall during Rex Allen Days. This year is 65th Annual Event and will be held September 29th – October 2nd.

Apple Annies in Willcox Arizona

Across the street is the Rex Allen Museum. Our grandparents were huge fans of the old westerns and would have loved to have visited. If you love cowboy movies, then you will probably enjoy it. See Trip Advisor for tips before you go.

Rex Allen Museum

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Woof Trekking in Willcox Arizona

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Perfect Rich and Sweet Blueberry Crumble (Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treat #5)

Perfect Rich and Sweet Blueberry Crumble (Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treat #5)

posted in: Desserts, Food, Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs) | 2 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our grandma was born in Oregon, the third highest cultivator of blueberries in the US, behind Michigan and Georgia. But that is not the only reason this recipe reminds us of our grandma.

Grandma Inspired Blueberry Crumble

The second reason was her dentures. She had “soft teeth” from an early age and consequently, she was sporting dentures before her twentieth birthday. She wasn’t bashful about it either. She considered it a talking point and even a point of pride, for no one else she knew had been wearing dentures for so long.

Anyway, whenever we would go grocery shopping with her, we would pass the blueberries. Then we would joke and ask her if she wanted some, and she would exclaim, “NOOOO, they turn my teeth BLUUUUE!” and then she would laugh, which in turn made us laugh.


We actually have a love-hate relationship with blueberries ourselves. Like Forrest Gump said, “You never know what you’re going to get,” and that is a disconcerting fact about these little indigo orbs. Sometimes they can be so squishy. That being said, blueberries have been proven to have several health benefits, including being high in antioxidants and a low Glycemic Index.

This Grandma-Inspired Fantastic Treat is a deliciously sweet blueberry crumble. It manages to make blueberries delicious and brings a smile to our faces with memories of our grandma.

For the Crust and Crumble

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, diced butter, egg, and salt in a food processor. Mix until roughly the size of peas.

blueberry crumble - 1

Here is the texture we’re looking for.

blueberry crumble - 2

Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

blueberry crumble - 3

For the Filling

blueberry crumble - 4

Whisk together lemon juice, granulated sugar, vanilla and cornstarch. Then pour over the blueberries, giving them a gentle stir to coat. The cornstarch will help keep the filling together.

blueberry crumble - 5

The blueberries are ready for action. Pour them over the bottom layer of crumble and tilt the pan around for even liquid distribution.

blueberry crumble - 6

Top with the other half of the crumb topping. It’s ready to go into the oven!

blueberry crumble - 7

Bake for 35 minutes in a 350°F preheated oven.

blueberry crumble - 8

And there you have it, perfect blueberry crumble. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream for yummy deliciousness.

Mind the dentures though, this stuff stains. ?

blueberry crumble - 9

Blueberry Crumble

Blueberry Crumble

Ingredients

  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 c butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 4 t cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Grease 13x9 pan with butter
  3. Using a food processor, mix first 6 ingredients
  4. Pour about 1/2 of the crumb mix into the prepared pan
  5. Press crumb mix with fingers to compact the bottom layer
  6. Whisk together lemon juice, granulated sugar, vanilla and cornstarch
  7. Pour liquid mixture over blueberries and gently fold to coat all the berries
  8. Pour blueberry mix into pan over the crumb layer
  9. Tilt pan slightly to move the liquid all over the crumb layer
  10. Maneuver blueberries into a uniform layer
  11. Pour remaining crumb mix over the top
  12. Bake about 35 minutes, until top is golden brown
  13. Let cool and store in refrigerator
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Perfect Plump Peach Muffins with Crumb Topping: GIFT #3

Perfect Plump Peach Muffins with Crumb Topping: GIFT #3

posted in: Desserts, Food, Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treats (GIFTs) | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Every time we see peaches we think about our Grandma. Our grandparents had lots of different jobs during their lifetimes but the one that they most talked about was when they had a farm and ran a roadside fruit stand.

It was hard work but Grandma was a people person and the fruit stand let her chat up the customers. On this particular stretch of road, there were a couple of rival fruit stands, run by other families.

Grandma took great pride in her wares and took the time to set out her fruit carefully so the fruit were not bruised. She also believed that her customers should treat the fruit with respect and care. So when customers stopped by to pick out peaches, they thought the best way to tell if they were ripe was to squeeze them. This was unacceptable to Grandma and she scolded the customers for doing this.


Since it was a small town, she knew everyone and everyone knew her. Eventually, word spread that Grandma wouldn’t let customers squeeze her peaches and a rival fruit stand put up a sign that said, “YES, you can squeeze my peaches.” Grandma thought this was hilarious. She loved to tell us this story and we loved seeing her face light up with delight.

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How to Make Perfect Plump Peach Muffins

So for today’s Grandma Inspired Fantastic Treat, we made some delicious Peach Muffins. Peach season is in full swing. According to Reference.com, peaches are in season May through September, peaking in July.

peach, peach chunks

Peeling and dicing up the peaches can take awhile to accomplish, we usually allot 30-45 minutes to do this. You can blanch them for easy peeling, but we usually just use a knife.

crumble, muffin crumble

The yummy crumb topping, a mix of brown sugar, quick oats, flour and butter.

brown sugar, flour, spices

The dry ingredients, looking sweet and spicy.

brown sugar, flour, spices

The dry ingredients are now prepped, awaiting the wet ingredients.

eggs, milk

Milk, eggs and vegetable oil all whisked and foamy.

batter

Tempted to eat some of this batter.

batter with fruit, peach

Now gently folding in the peeled and diced peaches.

batter with fruit, peach, cupcake pan, cupcake liner

We use an ice cream scooper to portion out the batter into prepared muffin tins.

batter with fruit, peach, cupcake pan, cupcake liner, crumb topping

The crumble topping finishes off these muffins and they are ready to go into the oven at 350°F.

finished peach muffins, muffin top, crumb topping

Lovely, golden brown peach muffins. Let cool and store in refrigerator.

Perfect Plump Peach Muffins with Crumb Topping

Perfect Plump Peach Muffins with Crumb Topping

Ingredients

  • For Crumb Topping
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 c butter, melted
  • For Muffins
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t ground allspice
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 5 peaches, peeled and diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 24 muffin cups.
  3. Combine ingredients for crumb topping: brown sugar, flour, quick cooking oats and melted butter. Mix to combine and set aside.
  4. Combine dry ingredients: flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  5. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, oil and milk. Stir into dry ingredients.
  6. Fold in peaches.
  7. Scoop batter into prepared cups. Cups will be be full.
  8. Sprinkle prepared crumb topping on top of each muffin
  9. Bake 20-25 minutes.
  10. Let cool. Store in fridge.
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