Last weekend we made the annual Hall Family pilgrimage up to Apple Hill. I think we've only missed it three times since my family moved to California twenty-six years ago, and that includes the BYU years. This time last year we were buried in wedding planning, and we just couldn't find the time. There's a lot of fun things up there for kids: hay bale mazes, pumpkin picking, face painting, pony rides, the usual festival type stuff. But since we're lacking a bit in the kid population we had to go for the next best thing -- the food.
This was Nate's first visit as a Hall (if I'm a Boyce now doesn't that make him a Hall too?), and he quickly found out how deeply rooted in tradition we are. Sure, pretty much all of those farms sell pie, but when you're a Hall you only get a slice from Able's Apple Acres. Apple cider donuts? Only at Rainbow Orchards. And caramel apples are only to be purchased at High Hill, which is always the last stop of the day. I think Nate was curious to see if I'd relive my indulgent childhood days and munch down on a half dozen donuts. Thankfully this time I exercised a bit more self control than I had back then. But they really are that good.
Being up there was, of course, the perfect opportunity to load up on apples. My students have even noticed that they're a staple in my every day eating. Is two a day excessive? Thanks though Nate for carrying my twenty-pound box. I may have to go up there for another box full before Thanksgiving.
It still amazes me how a hearty, healthy apple can be turned into such sugary goodness. We (that would be all of the Halls, not just Nate and me) had pies (buttermilk apple and apple crumb), apple fritters, apple strudel, apple donuts, caramel apples, and apple cider. It was a little like Forrest Gump and the thousands of shrimp possibilities.
Anyway, we had a great day seeing the beauty that fall brings with the colors changing, spending time with family and munching on all things apple. It feels like the holiday season has officially begun!