Savoring the Seasons: Apple lovers rejoice

  • Paul Jahnige of Williamsburg cheers with the rest of his teammates after winning one of the pumpkin games at last year’s Ashfield Fall Festival. This year’s festival kicks off on Saturday. RECORDER FILE/Matt Burkhartt

For The Recorder
Published: 10/3/2017 11:03:01 AM

I love hearing stories about local farms and learning recipes that have been passed from friend to friend. So, I was thrilled to get a letter from my other-side-of-Conway neighbor Debbie Burnett Craven. She wrote to tell me about some of her favorite apple recipes and about a West County fruit orchard that’s been going strong for many years.

Debbie said, “Here are a couple of my favorite apple recipes. When I was in high school, more than 40 years ago, Janice Scott, half of E & J Scott Orchards, gave me this recipe for apple bars. Ed and Janice started growing apples in 1954. Since both of their deaths, the orchard is still going and growing great apples and peaches. Their son, Colin, and his wife, Laura, are growing and harvesting and operating the storage in Buckland, and their daughter, Donna, runs the store in South Ashfield. The second recipe I found on a package (I think it was oatmeal) and I changed and tweaked it to my taste. The recipes are favorites of my family.”

Thanks, Debbie!

On my way from Conway to Ashfield, I have stopped many times to get apples at the E & J Scott Orchards store on Route 116 in South Ashfield. But I never knew much about the orchards, and didn’t realize the many varieties of fruit they grow in Buckland. See all of their offerings at:

I was especially glad to get Debbie’s letter right now because this weekend, Oct. 7 and 8, is Ashfield’s delightful Fall Festival, where many different yummy apple treats are available. I laughed when I saw that the festival’s website,, has a section titled “Food Glorious Food” so fairgoers can learn about all the ways you can eat your way through the festival. I was thrilled to see that Ashfield Hardware Store will serve hot applesauce sundaes again this year. I love the hot applesauce/cool ice cream combo.

There are many other ways to enjoy apples at the festival: The First Congregational Church will serve hot apple crisp, Boy Scouts will serve apple cider with their pumpkin spice doughnuts, and Mo’s Fudge Factor will be serving fudge apples. And, you can get whole apple pies or just a slice served by the South Ashfield Library if you stop by their table in the Town Hall.

Want to try out Debbie’s recipes? Visitors to Ashfield who drive up Route 116 to get there will go right by the E & J Scott Orchards Store on their way to/from the festival. On my way to lunch with a friend at Elmer’s last week, I saw that the store has a spiffy new sign.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy apples? Please share your recipes.

This week we’re eating ...

Baked apple bars: By Janice Scott, Ashfield (shared by Debbie Burnett Craven, Conway)


1½ C. sugar

3 eggs

2 C. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

½ C. vegetable oil

2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced


Mix sugar, eggs, and oil. Add dry ingredients and vanilla. Mix well. Fold in apples.

Put in a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees at 20 to 22 minutes.

Applesauce oatmeal muffins: By Debbie Burnett Craven, Conway


½ C. brown sugar

1 egg

3 T. vegetable oil

½ C. milk

1 C. applesauce

1¼ C. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1½ C. quick oats

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg

1 C. raisins OR dried cranberries


Mix sugar, egg, and oil. Stir in milk and applesauce. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in raisins or cranberries.

Fill greased muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Makes 1 dozen. (Note: I always, before baking, sprinkle the tops with cinnamon/sugar.)

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer, editor, and book indexer. Send column suggestions and recipes to:


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