Walt an I lead a fairly dull life, most of the time. Yeah, we go to lots and lots and lots of theater and that is fun, but it's also work. On a day by day business we stick at home. Walt works upstairs, I work (or goof off) downstairs. Walt works on Wednesdays, every 2 weeks he spends a few hours with our friend Malcolm, giving his wife a respite so she can go out to meet with her friends. I visit my mother periodically, but mostly I'm at home. The question my mother is upset that I never answer satisfactorily for her is "what exciting things have you been doing?"
Well today was not dull. Today we went on an adventure. We went to Apple Hill. Apple Hill has officially been around for about 50 years. It's a collection of farms who all grow apples and it has grown from orchards to include bakeries (lots and lots of bakeries), and stores that sell kitschy stuff. You can buy apples in all forms, along with anything that can be made of apples or made to look like apples or made to smell like apples.
I think we went to Apple Hill once, many, many years ago shortly after we moved here. I think we drove up to cut down a Christmas tree.
Every year in the fall, I think it would be nice to drive up to Apple Hill, but we never do. Since my mother moved here, I keep wondering if she would enjoy the drive up. Initially I decided not because she was still having back problems, now I think her Alzheimers would make the trip just too confusing.
But when we drove to Santa Barbara last time, we were listening to a Harlan Coben audio book which was very good...and had about 2 hours go to, with no big travel plans upcoming so we could finish the audio book. So I decided we should go to Apple Hill, which would be just about the right length of time, round trip, to finish the book (it was).
What an absolutely delightful day For one thing, it had rained over the weekend, so the skies were clear and blue, with big fluffy white clouds everywhere.
We started our tour at Abels Acres, which had acres of "stuff," but I didn't see any apples, though I am sure they were around.
We bought apple cider donuts and coffee and sat on the porch looking out over the beautiful scenery. (There is a petting zoo somewhere but we didn't look for it.)
Oh man was that delicious -- hot and crunchy with sugar. I could have just gone home then and been happy, but we looked around at all the stuff. I particularly loved the caramel apple choices.
At 74, I'm leery of biting into a caramel apple, so I just enjoyed the choices and watching others eating them. I also bought a huge apple pie to bring home for dessert.
We moved along to other orchards. Surprisingly, there was a plethory of bakeries but very few actual orchards. We did finally find Delfino's, which had bins of apples, and I filled up a couple of bags (not sure what I'm going to do with them).
We found Rainbow orchards, which had this intriguing sign
I laughed with the woman about it and she said that people had been asking for blackberry pies all day long and then said "Oh! But we have them now!" So I decided to buy one...'cause you so rarely get amazing berry pies (it is filled with 2 lbs of berries, she tells me). It was not until she was ringing it up that Walt pointed out to me that we were paying $25 for this pie! Better be damn good! Maybe that's why his signature looked like this:
It was getting late and we were going to skip the last stop we planned to make, a place called Denver Dan's, but they advertised chicken pasties which I thought we could get to bring home for dinner, so we stopped. I'm so glad we did. It was my favorite stop of the day. Look at the size of the pies!
The woman who makes the pasties was so delightful and we enjoyed chatting with her, when the lady came from the back to ask if we wanted an apple. We said "sure!" but didn't realize she was going to peel and slice it for us.
Their peeling/slicing/coring machines are big sellers and if they weren't $30, I would have bought one. But we enjoyed the apple and Margie, who ran the slicer, let me take a video of her explaining how it works. If you are on Facebook, you might be able to see this.
Anyway, it was a great adventure and I had such a good time. Now I am expecting a rep from Cutco to come and sharpen my knives tomorrow (another adventure) and my big knife, the knife I use EVERY SINGLE DAY is missing. I used it to cut potatoes last night and it just doesn't seem to be anywhere. I will probably spend the night tearing the kitchen apart hoping to find it.