I thought it would be fun to celebrate the last day of summer and kick off the start of fall with a blog post all about apples and a recent tablescape I put together! If your family is anything like my family, you have an abundance of apples this time of year. We love apples all year long, but there is nothing better than locally grown produce when it’s in season. We have quite a few farms here in southern New England that have apple orchards where you can pick your own or buy a bag of already picked apples. We also love buying some of the other apple items the farm stands sell. When we go apple picking we will also buy a gallon of apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple twists, apple turnovers, basically anything apple we are game for! This year I decided to put together a fun tablescape to serve some of our favorite apple items. I put together an apple cider bar with some apple cider donuts for dipping. For this setup and the warm weather we’ve had, I served our apple cider cold but this recipe (which I will include below) would be perfect served hot or cold. On a side note, the apple cider stewing in your crockpot with the cinnamon and cloves will make your whole house smell amazing. I hope this fun and easy tablescape inspires you to enjoy the fruit of the season and to think outside the box when hosting a party!
To start, I took our kitchen table and placed it in our own little orchard in our yard. We have some apple and pear trees that occasionally produce fruit, so I thought it would be fun to serve our apple cider among the fruit trees. I then placed a flannel blanket on the top, instead of the traditional tablecloth. The blanket not only covered the table but added texture to the table. A great tip is to have some extra blankets laying around, people can use them to sit on or wrap up with, especially on a cool autumn afternoon or night.
Next, start adding some height to your tablescape. For this, I added an old antique crock and filled it with oak tree branches right from the yard. I used oak branches because to me oak trees symbolize fall…oak trees = acorns (see what I mean?!). For added texture and greenery, I placed some of the oak branches around the table. If you don’t have oak trees in your yard, you can use any greenery, just remember to keep your stems long for a dramatic effect. Then I added the apple cider which I placed in a mason ball jar drink dispenser to the table. The drink dispenser looked old, but I actually found it at Michael’s on sale (love when that happens)! I placed the drink dispenser on a wooden drink pedestal which helped to add height to the table and makes it easier for everyone to fill their glasses. I placed a couple of wooden boards on the table too. One board was used to hold the spice jars. The jars I used for the spices are french canning jars, but any small storage container (wood, glass, ceramic) would work. I like having the spices on the table so that people could choose to add additional spices to their cider if they wished to do so. The spices I served with our apple cider were cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise. All of these spices are classic pairings with apples. The other wooden board on the table was used to hold the glasses of cider.
I served our cider with apple cider donuts. We love these! If you have never had an apple cider donut (you are missing out), it is a cakey interior with a crunchy cinnamon sugar outer shell. The donuts are perfect for dunking into the cider. I placed the donuts on a white cake pedestal and layered them so that anyone could easily grab a donut and go! Make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand, as the donuts and cider can be sticky, and you won’t be able to have just one glass of cider or just one donut!
I hope you will give this delicious apple cider recipe a try. Leave me a comment and let me know if you did or what your favorite apple recipe is! To find the links to (most) products featured in this blog post click here: LIKEtoKNOW.it
Xoxo ~ Heidi
Crockpot Apple Cider
1 Gallon Apple Cider
1 Orange Sliced
1 Apple Sliced
6 Cinnamon Sticks
1 tbsp. Whole Cloves
5 Whole Star Anise
2 Whole Nutmeg (optional)
1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours.
2. When done, strain out all spices.
3. Can be served hot right away or chill in the refrigerator for several hours for cold apple cider.
4. Garnish with your favorite spices, sliced apples, and sliced oranges.