Thursday, September 25, 2008

First Signs of Fall: Apple Picking

Me? Apple picking? How hokey, and never on the weekend during September and October, shoot me first. I can't stand the crowds, the hay rides, the screaming kids and the overall chaos.

Today was the day. It was beautiful, sunny, 65 degrees, a Wednesday, and who the hell is going apple picking at 4 pm? I am. I swear, we were the only people at the orchard. We had it all to ourselves. Very romantic and peaceful.
I am excited to bake some apple desserts this weekend, and wanted to pick my own fruit from the tree.

We went to Melick's Farm in Oldwick, NJ, about a 20 minute ride from my house. They also have peach picking in the summer, as well as pears. We picked many different varieties of apples; Cortland, Empire, Golden Delicious, and Macoun, sampling all of them along the way. We bought some local honey, made from hives on the farm. I keep reading about local honey taken twice a day in the Spring as being a cure for people with allergies. I am very interested in any remedy that can be used to heal an ailment without prescription medication (xanax doesn't count! pain killers are my friends).

After our fun fall harvest adventure, we dined at our favorite restaurant/bar in NJ called The Tewksbury Inn. We have been eating and drinking here for over 20 years.
It is a friendly place where you will find locals hanging out, discussing politics, sports and just overall life. It sits in a beautiful spot on Main St. in a Victorian home set with rolling hills in the backround, smack in the middle of horse country. Lots of ladies in jodphurs and riding boots come in for an afternoon drink (or two).

Dave is our favorite bartender. He is always in a good mood, and there is always a drink waiting on the bar for my husband before he sits down! (he sees him coming in from the parking lot! he has alcohol radar!).

Roger is the wonderful manager and host, who is always happy to see you and gives you a big hug and a kiss.

The food is not what you would expect. It used to be a burger and onion loaf kind of place, but now it is more upscale. Chris is a great, young chef who changes the menu regularly. He is creative and his food is consistently excellent. His duck confit is better than any we've had in France, and his filet mignon is better than any NY steakhouse for a lot less money. Tonight we had the parsley & lemon crusted halibut over a New Jersey tomato and corn ragout w/ haricot verts. Delicious.

Stay tuned for some yummy, fall apple desserts.


RecipeGirl said...

This sounds like the PERFECT day! I hate the crowds too.

I just did a weekday visit to our local mountain apple town, but we didn't pick apples... just shopped and ate apple pie! I'll have to go back with my little guy and pick apples next time.

Lisa said...

I am going apple picking soon. Love baking with them. The Tewksbury Inn looks great!

The Sassy Kathy said...

I love Melicks, and obviously the Tewksbury Inn as well. I'm still thinking about that crab salad I got there when we went to lunch!

John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

I hear you about the crowds when going apple picking. That's why we went to a smaller and more out-of-the-way place to pick our apples this year. Much more enjoyable. - John

mikky said...

can't wait to see your yummy, fall apple desserts... wish we could experience the apple picking thing... :)

freefun0616 said...
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