‘Why not have shawarma in a bowl? New recipe. Plus all about my first apple-pumpkin-picking experience!’
On Saturday, my husband and I went to the Alstede Farms in Chester. It was our first time to this farm. As we drove to Chester, my gosh, what a sight it was! The beautiful fall colors adorning all the trees by the roadside… It was stunning! The fall colors reminded us of our visit to Whistler in Canada. The most gorgeous fall colors ever! But coming back to Jersey, it was a lovely drive, seeing the beautiful shades of yellow, orange, red and even bubblegum pink, to be precise! Did you know that carotenoids and anthocyanins are responsible for the orange and red hues in the autumn leaves? I found out about this little tidbit of information over the weekend and I felt so accomplished to learn something new. Like I’m a young, growing scientist or something… We reached Chester and were blown away by the number of cars in the parking lot!! It was like all the families in that township decided to spend their day in this farm! But thankfully, we got a parking space, made it to the queue and finally went in the hayride! My very first hayride! Oh so much fun! It reminds me in a way of Punjab, and those tractors in the fields. Must be so much fun… But it was really nice to have this ride and it was not very cold. We stopped to pick apples. As we made our way through the maze of the apple orchard, we came across so many apples lying on the ground, some of which were rotting and some which were partially eaten. Poor apples! I felt so bad for the many dozens just lying on the floor… What a waste! I hope they don’t go to waste and that they are used in some productive manner. But anyhow, we saw so many apples on the trees, just waiting to be picked. They were big! And just so lovely to look at. Not like regular apples you find in a store. Nothing like them at all! My husband and I felt like we were on scavenger hunt for a bit. We became like excited kids, filled with glee every time we found a super-red apple to pick and put into our little cardboard box. We picked fourteen of them, after which we made our way to the pumpkin patch. There were so many just lying on the ground… My husband and I searched for a fairly large pumpkin with the handle on top. And we did find one! We also saw rows of leaves being cultivated. They looked like cabbage. There were these cute carts on which people pulled their boxes of fruit and I had to stop and take a few pictures of myself sitting in one of them!
We put the box in the boot of the car and headed back to the farm. We saw so many cute animals. Donkeys, jennies (did you know that’s what female donkeys are called?), hens, roosters, rabbits, goats. I adore rabbits! Incidentally, I’m a rabbit as per the Chinese zodiac. Bunny connection there… It was interesting to see how the goats could be fed by visitors. There was a conveyor belt with miniature bowls attached, in which visitors could put in the food and pass on to the goats, that stood on an elevated platform. There was a banner which read ‘Jersey’s first goat walk’! How amusing?! Homemade ice cream was being sold. We went for the season favorite, pumpkin spice ice cream. It was yumm! I love everything pumpkin spiced! This farm is huge with so many different things going on. And there are so many flowers, fresh produce such as peppers,… they were even selling freshly prepared and bottled apple cider! It was pretty good. We bought a medium sized bottle to take back home. And oh, I loved this one section where there were so many garden related items on sale. Beautiful pots, quirky ceramic curios, wind chimes, and this one particular rake, which had rings to hold pots! Oh, it was so beautiful! My husband and I also had an interesting experience feeding sheep. I could not stop laughing as the sheep quickly licked off the food from my hand! It was ticklish and felt really warm…
So now there’s a big pumpkin and a baby pumpkin too in the pantry! Need to think about how I’m going to use all of that pumpkin up… But I’m going to worry about that later. The previous week, I had some pita bread to finish off. It was a packet of pita that came along with one of the home deliveries. So I thought about making bite-sized salted pita chips and adding them to a salad. But not just any regular salad. I tried out this lovely shawarma salad with an equally lovely and zesty dressing. Now I don’t have a fancy schmancy grill. So I went ahead and cooked the chicken stovetop style. And it came out perfectly well! The marinade is impressive. And one of the ingredients that stand out is the paprika. I absolutely love this recipe. Love it for it’s garlicky flavor too! And it’s all so simple to make. So this is going to be basically two recipes in one – the shawarma salad, and the salted pita chips, which is so very easy to make but you’ll be stunned at the outcome! I remembered one of my husband’s aunts using a scissor once to cut bread. I’ve never used a scissor for such a purpose in the kitchen. Usually I use a scissor to open up a packet or something. But I cut the pita with the help of the scissors and it’s precision. SO much more easier! For this recipe, the pita is cut really small. But the recipe can also be used for making pita wedges, which can then be had with dips of so many kinds… The recipe for the salad is adapted from the blog ‘I’m Bored-Let’s Go’ and the recipe for the salted pita chips is from ‘The Pioneer Woman’. So shall I get to the recipes? I think I shouldn’t further delay! Here goes. Enjoy!