Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Day We Went Apple Picking (aka The Day I Ate Apple Pie at A Place You Can Also Buy Apples)

One of my "To Do's" for autumn was to go to an apple orchard. I had this romanticized idea of what an apple orchard would be like. Rows and rows of picturesque apple trees where I could walk around with a little basket and actually pick my own apples that they would then bundle up for me. And pie. I expected amazing pie, both to eat there and also to take home. Ummmmm. Pie.

After consulting with a few friends, decided on Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake. Made for a nice drive out there; beautiful fall colors, a lake, a Taco Johns, etc. Upon arrival, the place was crazy busy. Walking into the main area, there was this whole area off to the right with families and fall-themed cut outs, kids running around, and even some musicians playing folky music. There was a hay ride and some other activities, but we opted for just going into the apple orchard itself. The apple orchard itself was rather small, but still had the requisite apple trees. Unfortunately, you could not actually pick any apples off the trees. That was a no-no. Apparently, the apples are just for purchase in the store. Slightly disappointing, but it makes sense. So we wandered and just enjoyed the beautiful autumn day.

A little too soon, we left the apple orchard behind and entered the pumpkin patches ... and the kid-photo sessions. Seriously, so many little kids photo sessions going on. Including ... one where the parents actually dressed their baby in a pumpkin Halloween costume and put him (her?) amongst the pumpkins. Hmmmmmm.

Some more wandering and a few photos later, we wandered back to the barn. Where we stood in line. For a long time. Seriously, we stood in line for a good 30 minutes for the bakery and cafe. But I was determined to get my fresh apple pie!!! And eventually, I did. Yummmm. Fresh apple pie with ice cream. Soooo delicious. I was, however, slightly disappointed that it was the sheet apple pie (a square piece) versus the traditional round pie and a slice. But no biggy ... it still tasted delicious! And I got a slice of the fresh apple with caramel. That was delicious ... great combination of tart apple and sweet caramel.

Then, off to the store! I could not believe how expensive Honey Crisp apples are! Seriously, the other types were like $8 for a half-peck and Honey Crisp were like $17. Yikes! While I really really really wanted to buy an apple pie ... and a dutch apple pie ... and the apple donuts ... and the other special kind of apple pie ... and the apple rolls ... and every other pastry item ... I was a semi-good girl and only bought some apple turnovers to have for the week. Sigh.

And so the apple orchard adventure ended (with hands full of apples and turnovers). I would do it again ... and I would definitly get the apple donuts this time.

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