Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Apples: means it's Fall

For 20-some years, near the beginning of October, my family has packed up the cars, driven 2.5+ hours and converged at a collection of picnic tables at Apple Hill in Camino, a small town just north of Placerville, CA. It's a long way to go but it's a fabulous tradition of spending a day together to kick off the Fall, talk, eat, and play.

The day usually goes like this...
Get up pretty early (for a weekend morning) and leave the Bay Area by 8:30-9am
That means saying goodbye to this little face for the day (it's tough!)

We drive for roughly 2 1/2 hours; pull off into "Apple Hill Land" and drive to our chosen picnic spot for the year (the spot has changed many times within Apple Hill over the last 25 years.)
We sit, we talk, we eat, we laugh

The two most important stops we make after lunch is for apple fritters and apple cider. In fact, when folks in the family can't make it up a particular year - it's typically fritters and cider (and not actually fresh apples!) they ask someone to bring back for them! Our family fav's are Abel's for fritters and Bolster's for cider.

Who needs apples? This is why I come!

Growing up Mom would serve this cider with homemade cinnamon
cake donuts -
one of my life's finest pleasures!

Of course we always make a stop to pick apples. Though it is the "older" generation who really loves to pick apples and not so much my cousins and I.

Our favorite (yet small) orchard, Argyres was mentioned in Sunset magazine this month!

Oh how they love to pick. But the bargain drives them. -- That whole box: only $5!

We finish off the day with dinner at my cousins' house in Lodi ~ sort of a halfway point for all the Bay Area folks. It's such a fabulous, relaxing day and really doesn't feel like Autumn until we've gone.

Ahh - it is officially Fall!


  1. Hi,

    came over from Jenn Yu's blog. You had a lot of good recommendations for South Bay eats!

    We're gonna go to Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville for their Apple Butter Festival. Hoping to make that a family tradition for our kids.

  2. Hi Nate & Annie!

    Gizdich is awesome too - we used to go picking down there when I was growing up.

    What a fun tradition for your kids!

  3. I LOVE Apple Hill -- Mother Lode, Rainbow Orchards, Larsen's, Abel's. I need apple butter, or homemade cider, or apple pie, or apple cider doughnut, or...