When fall bounces by each year many of us hit the ground with thoughts of entertaining in-laws and out of town guests while others dread the long days alone being “busy.” Why not try something different this year? Gather your closest friends, family, or co-workers and try some of these favored fall festivities.
Go for a hike through Lake Kissimmee State Park or Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. If walking is not your pace take a bike ride down one of their trails. Looking for more? How about camping out under the stars? If roughing it in a hammock is not in your comfort zone, they have cabins for reserve with running water and electricity. My personal favorite is to build a fire after dark and sit roasting marshmallows, enjoying the stars and wondrous sounds of nature at Lake Kissimmee State Park.
Maybe hiking and camping are too close to nature, but you love the idea of being outdoors. Visit Kissimmee Valley Farmer’s Market or Mill Creek Mall Farmer’s Market to pick up some fresh local produce and handcrafted products. If you’re in the market to get your hands dirty, visit a pick-your-own farm where if you can pick it, you can buy it. This time of year, apples are great and coming up I’ll show you just what to do with them. But the farms around Kissimmee have berries, peaches and a few have fresh honey. Two of my favorites are B&G Rucks Blueberries for blueberries, tomatoes, other vegetables, honey from hives on the farm, and Fresh eggs, u-pick and already picked, and Deer Park Peaches, who minimizes chemical and pesticide use on their blueberries, peaches, honey from hives on the farm, and fresh eggs. For the crafty you can collect pinecones and turn them into bird and squirrel feeders with a little peanut butter and oats.
If you are in the mood to thrifty go antiquing and buy yourself something with character. Get dirty and plant some bulbs in your garden for the spring. Have fun and visit a winery. These four are the top rated wineries in all of Florida; Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Schnebly Redland's Winery, Gilded Grape Winery & Wine Bar, and Fiorelli Winery.
Now you have the wine and peaches what do you do? Make spicy peach coleslaw or a preserve. Try peach and cream pie, peach pudding, or my personal favorite: peach cobbler. If you have apples, make candied apples for your trick-or-treaters. How about making my favorite hot spiced cider for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner? Enjoy some good company with no pressure to do all the cooking and share in your great new loves of picking fruit and wine. Give pinecone bird feeders as a thank you gift for showing up and sharing their time and recipes with you.