- Giselle Smith
Fall on the Farm: Hinton's Orchard Family Fun & Friendsgiving
Big plans for Halloween?! Hinton's Orchard is open today for the holiday and through Thanksgiving. We were blessed to have Hinton’s Orchard host our Friendsgiving feature this issue and also give us a private tour of the farm. The Hintons are a such a sweet family; shown on the left are Jeremy, Joanna and their children Jacob, Joslyn and Joel. Read on to learn more about Hinton’s and then everything you need for the perfect Friendsgiving—Joanna even shared their recipes for Caramel Apple Pie and Apple Turnovers. Morgan Worley Photography captured these gorgeous images.
Hinton’s Orchard & Farm Market is a destination for the whole family. Every year, families, classrooms, and community groups flock to Hinton’s to learn, harvest, and enjoy the land’s bounty. Hinton’s Orchard & Farm Market is a fun day on the farm and a local source for farm-fresh food!
The family farm grows fresh fruits, flowers, and vegetables all the while providing fun family experiences for kids of all ages. In addition to fruits, flowers, and vegetables, customers find a selection of homemade baked goods, gifts, gourmet foods, and much more. Fresh local produce is available April through November at both Hinton’s Orchard locations – the on-farm market in Hodgenville and the market in Elizabethtown.
Visitors also enjoy agritourism opportunities including strawberry and pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn mazes, and a play area known as Hinton’s Farmland. In this era of COVID-19, these family activities will be available through late September and October but with some adjustments. Admission tickets will be available for purchase online and a limited number in person so crowds will not be too large. Social distancing is easier on the farm, so the goal is for all families to enjoy their trip to the country!
Pumpkin Picking, Open-Air Hayride + Driver Martin Hernandez, Farmer’s Market & the Grain Bin Tire Maze at Farmland Play Area.
Hinton's Orchard Activities:
Turning Tile Maze
Farmland Play Area
Hinton’s Orchard & Farm Market has been providing the region with fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, pumpkins, and many other farm products since 2006. In 2015, the Hintons expanded with a store in Elizabethtown. Their “in-town” market is known for beautiful flowers and plants but is also an easy stop for fresh produce, local milk, honey, and meats. Fresh cut trees are even available for the holiday season! Hinton’s produce can also be found at both the LaRue and Hardin County Farmer’s Markets throughout the summer season.
Hinton’s Orchard is a member of the Kentucky Proud program which promotes Kentucky-grown and produced products and Kentucky Farm Bureau’s Certified Farm Market Program which promotes the state’s roadside farm markets. Hinton’s Orchard has been recognized by Elizabethtown families as the area’s top pumpkin patch and recently by Kentucky Living magazine’s readers as “Best in Kentucky” for agritourism sites.
The Hinton family works hard to supply your family with beautiful plants and fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables. Jeremy and Joanna and their children look forward to visiting with you at one of the markets soon!
Hinton's Apple Pie Recipe
All pies from Hinton’s Orchard start with our own homemade apple pie filling that is made with a recipe passed down to us from Paula Varney of Paula’s Hot Biscuit in Hodgenville. If just one pie is needed, there are plenty of recipes available, but just as it was shared with us, we are sharing our recipe.
Apple Pie Filling
4 ½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup Cornstarch
2 Tsp Cinnamon
¼ Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Salt
10 Cups Water
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
5 ½-6 Lbs Peeled, Cored & Sliced Apples
Place the first 5 ingredients in a large pan. Add 10 cups of warm water and stir well. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir constantly to prevent sticking. Pack sliced apples into quart jars. Once the filling has thickened, pour hot mixture over top of the apples to the neck of the jar. Be sure to release any air bubbles. Place lids and rings on jars. Place in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. Makes 6 – 7 quarts.
To make the Dutch Apple Pie with Caramel Icing featured in the article, use one pie crust (homemade or store-bought, whichever is better for you!) and fill it with Hinton’s Apple Pie Filling. Then, top the pie with crumble topping. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees or until bubbly and golden brown.
Crumble Topping Ingredients
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Flour
1 Stick Butter
Mix dry ingredients. Melt butter and pour into the dry mixture. Stir well until all dry is moistened. Sprinkle over top of the pie.
For the final step, after the pie has thoroughly cooled, cover the pie with caramel icing. Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator. If reheating the pie, your caramel icing will melt.
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Stick Butter
½ Cup Milk
3-4 Cups Powdered Sugar
Put brown sugar and butter in a saucepan on the stovetop on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add milk, and stir. Return to heat and bring back to a boil.
Once boiling starts, remove from heat again. Cool mixture to lukewarm; place in the refrigerator on pot holder to speed up the process. When the brown sugar mixture is cooled, stir in powdered sugar a little at a time until the desired thickness is reached.
Hinton's Apple Turnover Recipe
Apple Pie Filling – homemade or store bought
Pie Crust – homemade or store bought
Roll pie crust and cut into circles approximately 4 inches in diameter. Place a scoop of apple pie filling in the center of each circle and fold into a half moon shape. Use a fork to crimp around the edges of the pie crust. For best results, freeze the turnovers for 24 hours on a baking sheet before cooking.
Heat oil in a skillet to 350 degrees. Place turnovers in the hot oil so that they are not touching. Fry for 6 minutes on each side or until the turnovers are golden brown. Remove from oil allowing excess to drain off and place turnovers on a cooling rack. Serve plain, dust with powdered sugar, or glaze with icing. Turnovers can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days or refrigerated.
Fall is in full swing and Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what matters most—the people in our lives that we love and care for. While the last Thursday in November is typically reserved for immediate and extended family, turkey and traditions, Friendsgiving is perfect for friends and can take place any day from now through Thanksgiving. There are three things you need for the perfect Friendsgiving:
Location is everything. Many people host Friendsgiving at home, but venues are also an option most week nights.
Tables, chairs, linens and florals are a must. Danelle at ETown Florist offers decorating services complete with fresh florals, or you can call and order arrangements to have dropped off. There are gorgeous fall arrangements available on her site right now. You can also use items you have around the house all season long; we used some fall staples from FINE House & Garden like pumpkins and napkin rings for place settings. China and table service can be real or paper/plastic depending on the vibe you’re going for.
The meal can be catered, cooked by the host, or potluck-style. If you plan to have guests bring entrees or side items, keep a list of who is bringing what to be sure all of the bases are covered. Scroll down to the bottom for my favorite EASY recipes for Halved Cornish Game Hens, Stuffing + Gravy, Sweet Potato Casserole + Toasted Marshmallows, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Corn, and Roasted Red Potatoes + Carrots.
In addition to all of the fun activities for children and families, Hinton’s is the perfect date night or ladies night. Hot apple cider, strolls through the blackberry or raspberry vineyards, and shopping in the market are great ways to spend a week night or Saturday afternoon. The apple and peach orchards are lovely for photos donning your fall best.
To learn more about Hintons or schedule an upcoming visit, go to www.hintonsorchard.com. Stay up-to-date with the latest happenings on the farm by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Follow us on social media and be looking out for upcoming magazines, party invites and lots of blog features: Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you are out on the farm or are hosting a Friendsgiving this fall, please tag us in your Instagram posts or use the hashtag #elizabethtownlifestyle. We can't wait to see you're doing this season!
Happy Halloween Elizabethtown!
HALVED Cornish Game Hens
OKAY, so all of these recipes are super easy. We're busy at my house, so anything that takes too long or has too many steps is out. All of these recipes were cooked in our one standard-sized oven with prep and cook time at about four hours and fed 12 people ( with six halved game hens)(we also had ham, not shown as it was pre-cooked Kentucky Legend, lol). We also prepped everything in disposable pans with lids, transported in an ice chest as they also lock in heat, and then transferred into dishes on-site at Hinton's for the actual Friendsgiving. I also don't like measuring, so I eyeball everything. There is no right or wrong in reference to butter, oil, sugar, herbs, salt or pepper, but more is more.
To cook everything simultaneously, the hens must go in the oven first, but go ahead and prep the red potatoes and carrots at the same time as potatoes take a while to cook also.
6 Cornish Hens (1.5lbs each, found in the frozen section in 3 packs at WalMart)
6 Sticks of Salted Butter
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
2 Packs Fresh Rosemary & Thyme (found in the veggie section at Kroger)
(Added some Fresh Basil from my friend Susan King's garden)
Kosher Salt or Pink Himalayan Salt
Ground Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 450F. Melt three sticks of butter in a small sauce pan. You technically are not supposed to wash meat anymore, but I rinsed them anyways. Be sure the hens thawed and take out the little bag of gizzards (you can save these to add to gravy, but I buy store-bought gravy in a jar, so I don't worry about it). Go ahead and do all of the next steps in the pan you plan to roast in to avoid additional dishes. Separate the skin from the breast and pour in a bit of the melted butter (not all of it) and press in the minced garlic. Insert one half stick of butter into each hen. Butter is key. Douse all hens in olive oil. You're going to begin by cooking them upside down; pour on a bit of melted butter and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Some will run off, but don't get to crazy with it and use all of your butter.
Roast at 450F for 30min. During this 30min, you will be prepping ALL of your side items. Flip over the birds and pour on more melted butter. Reduce oven to 350F for the remainder of the roasting time. So far I have dirtied a single sauce pan, two disposable pans and one pair of tongs for this project, but you're going to need a thermometer at this point. Roast for 30min more and then start checking the temp every 10min adding a bit more melted butter each check. The hens need to be at 165F at their thickest point to be safe to eat; this could take anywhere from 1hr 15min to 3hr dependent on the size/weight of your hens. Once mine hit 165F, I garnished with rosemary, thyme and basil and roasted for an additional 15min just to be on the safe side.
Roasted Potatoes + Carrots
2 Sacks of Red/Purple/Golden Potatoes
1 Sack of Carrots
Preheat oven to 350F (for us we popped these in while the oven was on 450F still for 15min, but it's fine). Thoroughly wash all potatoes and carrots. Add to separate disposable pans. Poke a lot of holes in each potato. Rub all potatoes and carrots. Generously sprinkle potatoes in Italian seasoning and salt. Generously sprinkle brown sugar over carrots. Roast until desired consistency (45min to 1hr for softer potatoes and carrots).
Sweet Potato Casserole + Toasted Marshmallows, Green Bean Casserole & Buttered Corn
2 Extra Large Cans of Sweet Potatoes OR 12 Sweet Potatoes (washed, peeled, chopped)
1 Large Bag of Big Marshmallows
6 Cans of Green Beans OR 2lbs of Fresh Green Beans (washed, ends popped off)
2 Cans Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup
French's French-Fried Onions
6 Cans Corn
1 Stick Salted Butter
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. You need three decorative dishes; the same dishes you intend to serve these in as to avoid additional mess. Open cans, drain and put sweet potatoes, green beans and corn in separate dishes. If using fresh sweet potatoes and green beans, you can soften them by steaming in your microwave; add a bit of water to each dish, cover, microwave for 3-5min and then drain off the water. All items will be baked for 30min at 350F or until marshmallows are toasted and french-fried onions are browned.
Green Bean Casserole
Add Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup and stir into green beans. Generously top with a layer of French's French-Fried Onions half way through (15min).
Sweet Potato Casserole + Toasted Marshmallows
Generously sprinkle brown sugar over sweet potatoes. More is more. Cover with a layer of large marshmallows.
Add the stick of butter. Add salt and pepper.
Stuffing + Gravy
We used Stove Top Stuffing. Purchase at Kroger, Target, Walmart or Sam's and then follow instructions to make in a pan once everything else is in the oven. Pour into a decorative serving dish as guests arrive. To keep things simple, the stores listed above also have Heinz Homestyle Gravy. This post is not sponsored by Heinz, but gravy doesn't really pair well with Cornish Game Hens, so the gravy is really just for the stuffing and the jarred gravy tastes okay enough. Friends don't judge like your Grandma, Mother or Aunt would. Pour into a serving bowl or gravy boat and microwave. Enjoy!