Mimi Avocado Takes Her First Helicopter Ride and a Recipe for Maple Almond Apple Crisp


Gaspe Quebec

View from our cabin on the Celebrity Summit, taken in Gaspe, Quebec on the Gulf of St. Lawrence

After the summer harvest,  The Farmer and I took a long-anticipated trip with friends  to Maine, Canada and New York.  One of the highlights for me  was the day we were in Gaspe, Quebec when I had an opportunity to do something I had never done before.    We had not purchased a bus tour to see the sites of the Forillon National Park or the famous  Perce Rock,  one of the world’s largest natural arches.   Instead we decided to have a quiet day.  The Farmer would stay on the ship and I would visit the town by myself.

helicopter tour

I met this helicopter pilot in the welcome area of Gaspe, Quebec. He was offering tours of the area! What a fun surprise!

When I reached the shore, I found an opportunity to take a helicopter tour of the area…something I had not expected!   Should I go?   The townspeople who were there to welcome guests from the ship encouraged me to do it…the weather was perfect and there was one seat available on a flight leaving in 10 minutes!

first helicopter ride

I expected to have some motion sickness, but the ride was very smooth! Not scary at all!

I had never been up in a helicopter before…but it was on my bucket list and I decided not to miss this chance to go!

Gaspe Peninsula

Flying over the Gaspe Peninsula and the Gulf of St. Lawrence was a beautiful experience, especially with the trees changing color for the fall.   Even though I grew up in Vermont,  I had never been this far north to see the vast expanses of forest and ocean.  Our pilot took us over the trees and then out over the water to look for whales.

Perce RockThe Perce Rock was named by Samuel de Champlain because of the hole he noticed in the huge rock formation, causing it to appear “pierced”.    We also flew over nearby Bonaventure Island where a large colony of gannets are protected in the migratory bird sanctuary.

Bonaventure IslandAs we flew back over the colorful patchwork Canadian landscape,  we could see large swamplands,  logging areas, and a few hunting camps.  Miles and miles of  undeveloped natural territory.   So good for the soul!

Gaspe Quebec autumnReturning  to Gaspe,  our pilot circled the ship so we could take photographs.  I wondered if The Farmer would look up and see the helicopter … not knowing that his wife was up there!

Celebrity SummitWhen  I  returned to the ship I was so excited to tell The Farmer where I had been!  I found him playing a dice game called Farkle with friends from our travel group.   No one had seen the helicopter as we flew over the ship,  but that didn’t bother me…I was floating on air for the rest of that day!

The beautiful fall colors of New England and Canada made me hungry for apples!   A few days after we returned from our trip  I found some gorgeous extra large Granny Smith apples at Trader Joe’s and couldn’t resist buying some.

Granny Smith apples

I chopped up the apples and added maple syrup and cinnamon to the bowl.

apples with maple syrup and cinnamon

I always use Vermont maple syrup, but after our trip to Canada, the maple leaf will also remind me of that beautiful country and the friendly people we met in Quebec!

After mixing the apples, maple syrup and cinnamon,  I put them into a buttered baking dish.  Then I mixed up the “crisp” to put on top,  with oatmeal, all purpose unbleached flour, almond meal,  sliced almonds, brown sugar,  cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and melted butter.

baked apple crisp

The almonds added a yummy crunch and flavor to the apple crisp!

I made a huge pan of the apple crisp, thinking it would last several days.   Apparently several of the people in the household enjoyed it for dessert and again for breakfast…it’s already all gone!

Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

Serve Apple Crisp warm with vanilla ice cream. Don’t you love this cute cow bowl?

Maple Almond Apple Crisp

Maple syrup and sliced almonds make this apple crisp extra special!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8
Author Mimi Holtz


  • Apples:
  • 8 cups cubed tart apples I use Granny Smith
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Crisp:
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/8 cup butter in cut in thin slices


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine apples with maple syrup and cinnamon.
  • Stir until the apples are coated.
  • Place mixture into large shallow baking dish.
  • Make the topping by combining the oats, flour, almond meal, almonds, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  • Add the melted butter and stir until crumbly.
  • Spoon the topping over the apples until the whole dish is covered.
  • Top with thin slices of butter.
  • Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, when apples are bubbly and topping is brown.
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

maple almond apple crisp

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