There is nothing unusual about a June day unless that day occurs in October. – paraphrased from this Sunday’s edition of “The Plain Dealer”.
Now that my winter accessories have been unearthed from the depths of the ten foot high shelf in my hall closet, I find myself thumbing through my teeshirts and tanktops again, for this past weekend was a June weekend in October. As I boot shopped on Saturday, the thermometer shot past 80 degrees. That night, with just a tee and cotton blazer I headed to the top deck of the Euclid Prospect parking garage – where the HippDeck pop-up event was taking place – and survived ’til the wee hours of the morn’ without once feeling a chill. Miraculous? I think so.
And so, the last day of total sunshine and 75+ degree temps that we NEO’ers may see in a while called for celebration and commemoration. There was no better way to spend Sunday than lazing on a blanket under apple trees, munching on sweet, crisp fruit and laughing with new friends. Oh and the hayride drawn by horses (not a tractor!), apple cider slushies and pumpkin donuts were pretty stellar, too!
If you’re in the area during this “peak season”, check out Hillside Farms, about 40 mins south of Cleveland. The 60 year-old family run business is top-notch and offers plenty for all ages without being gimmicky. Hurry, though, for no matter where you live, the bounty is going fast and the growing season is nearly ended.
After arriving home from a day well spent, the big question was “what to do with these apples?!”. I started right away preparing an apple crisp found on Food Network, from the Neely’s. The ratings were high, the prep easy and the ingredients handy so I set to work. It’s truly delicious (and maybe more so since I didn’t use the ubiquitous Granny Smiths and subbed in the Empires instead!); minus the ice cream, the result really does resemble the photograph on the website. Probably a first for me 😉 Because I could tell my creation was moving along so splendidly as I mixed, I dared to add a tablespoon of Hazelnut syrup from Torani to the topping. YUM!
Cannot wait to test out my chef skills again and go to town on what’s left of my stash!
[wondering why the title is “u pick [from trees]? well, because the first farm, Mapleside Farms, advertised “u pick”, but after parking and walking a half-mile to arrive to the overly crowded farm, we learned that “u pick” meant “you go into the general store and pick the apples you like from different barrels”. How lame and grocery store-like! Hillside is definitely the way to go: you can tell it’s a source of family pride and that’s the way an authentic trip to the countryside ought to be!!]