Monday, September 24, 2012

Apples, Apples Everywhere

Fall in New England means that it's time to go apple picking! This year we drove up to Gould Hill Farm in Contoocook, NH and had the best time. As we drove north out of the Boston area, the greenery lining the highway was dotted with golden and rust leaves ablaze in the early afternoon sun. 

We were meeting fellow Texans, good friends who have recently joined us up here in Yankee territory. We were early (as usual), so we took a slight detour into bustling downtown Contoocook.  The Everday Cafe looked inviting, so we popped in for a mug of hot tea and sat out front enjoying the breezy, gorgeous fall day. A stone's throw down the street was one of New England's covered bridges, spanning the Contoocook River

We then headed toward Gould Hill Farm. With the White Mountains in the distance, a weathered barn, and their sprawling slightly overgrown orchards, we had truly escaped into the middle of nowhere in New Hampshire, in the best possible way. Just plenty of other people had escaped there with us. This place was busy!

The doughy smell of apple cider donuts sizzling in the fryer greeted us as we stepped into the Orchard Store. We meandered our way through the families in line for ice cream and fresh donuts, piles of unusual apples available for sample and purchase, and shelves of local honeys, jams, pumpkin butters, and syrup

We couldn't resist buying half a dozen donuts. We took our little white paper bag outside, and we each pulled out a piping hot donut, freshly dusted with sugar and cinnamon.  It's best to eat them quickly to avoid burnt fingertips!  So crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside. Not too sweet. They were perfect. 

We hiked up a hill to the orchard and picked a peck of McIntosh, Macouns, and Cortlands.  After our bags (and our stomachs) were full, we found a spot with a prime mountain vista to plop down with a tupperware full of homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and a Long Trail beer for each of us. Now that we're back in Medford with a counter full of apples, it's time to get cooking!

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