Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall in New England

My favorite season in New England is fall. From the crisp mornings to the leaves of red, bronze, and yellow to the pumpkins with painted on faces or cut out grins. Mums in every hue smiling their happy faces up at you in the last remnants of brilliant color before winter shows its solemn white face.

Fall in New England provides a great time for everyone every weekend.

Last weekend I went to the Milford Pumpkin Festival. This is an annual event that has a gigantic pumpkin contest. For this contest size does matter.

There is entertainment from local artists on a main street stage in the middle of the town circle and then there is entertainment out in the streets.

Food is everywhere. Actually, there is one road cordoned off that I refer to as food alley. All the fair foods you could possibly want is down this road, including wood fire pizza and one of my favorites, fried dough.

Inside the courthouse and in booths spread out through the main streets is a craft fair where local vendors get to show and sell their wares. You can always find something that you just can’t do without and have to buy.

For the kids and of course people like me, “big kids” there is face painting, scarecrow making, and pumpkin painting.

Overall, the Milford Pumpkin Festival is a three-day affair of fun, food, and fresh air.

This weekend I went apple picking with a couple of girlfriends. Every year on the weekend of October 15th, I go apple picking for my favorite apples, the Mutsu. If you have never had a Mutsu apple I will tell you that you are truly missing out. A softball-size green apple is to die for. It is great eating right off the tree, great for baking pies and cakes, and as my friends and family will attest to, they make the best caramel apples.

The best part of apple picking is truly the time you spend wending your way thru the trees talking with your friends and family and seeing who can pick the best apples or the most. If you have kids, watch out. If you give each kid a bucket to pick their own apples you’ll be eating apple soup, apple, pie, apple strudel every day for the next year.

This is my friend Lisa picking her first apple at an apple orchard.

For the second year in a row, I went with friends (Colleen and Lisa) to Meadow Ledge Farm in Loudoun, New Hampshire. This is a great farm because not only do they have a huge selection of trees to pick from but also they usually have entertainment in the afternoon. A nice local band plays in the “back yard” for your musical enjoyment.

To top off this terrific morning or afternoon, why not share some fresh, hot off the press, apple cider donuts with your family or friends. There is nothing like these and I have never found another place that sells them hot and fresh. It really makes a difference! After you wait in the line that usually winds its way out the door, why not sit outside on one of the benches that are scattered about, listen to the music from the local band, and talk with family and friends while enjoying those fresh cider donuts.

If you’re in the mood next year, feel free to join Colleen, Lisa, and myself on our annual apple picking Saturday. The benefit besides our company is that I take the apples we picked and make the best, most gigantic caramel apples you have ever seen or tasted.

What will next weekend bring? I know that Lisa is going to be going to a Renaissance Festival, yes, dressed in costume. For me, I'll be making beer with a few friends. From then on if I want to find something fun to do all I have to do is read in the local weekender newspaper called The Hippo Press or what I see on the website for festivals or fairs.


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