Apple of My Eye

When one can’t be globe-trotting, I guess the next best thing is exploring local treasures.

Last weekend (on a Sunday, of course), D and I took a little time out and made a day of it. After church, we drove over to Cormorant to have brunch at what seems to be becoming one of our Sunday haunts, Ella Marie’s. It’s a really cute coffee shop/cafe right off the lake with REALLY good sandwiches and pastries.

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Then we decided to finally check out the Lake Ida Apple Farm nearby. It’s one of those places that you find yourself saying every time you drive past, “Aw, we should check that out someday” or “We’ve always driven past, but…”

Well, this beautiful fall day was the day.

Apple orchard
Apple orchard

The orchard lies behind a big house, on the hills leading down to the lake. It homes what has to be hundreds of apple trees, all sorts of varieties. Since we went earlier in the season, there weren’t as many varieties ready, but enough anyway.It is owned by an older couple. They have a little “store” in part of one of their sheds. This is where you can sample some of the varieties that are in season, as well as some pre-bagged pecks of apples or get some buckets to walk through the orchard and pick your own, which is the route we took.

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Big ol' maama jaama!
Big ol’ maama jaama!

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We pick about a dozen of the Red Duchess variety (sweet, with just the perfect hint of tartness) and two dozen of the Northern Lights variety (tart and juicy, but should make good pie apples). We’ve been snacking on them all week – so good!

Part of our haul
Part of our haul

According to Sharon (one of the owners), apples are best kept as cold as possible, but not freezing. They still have apples left from last season that are just as sweet as ever, and they stored them just above freezing. They’ll keep for a long time this way.

Sharon’s husband, Rick, is also a very avid trapper and hunter, which D was just tickled pink about. They also have a granddaughter who works for the DNR in Alaska, so after telling her our future extended honeymoon hopefully gets us to Alaska someday, she told us all about traveling up there, as they have gone many times. Luckily, one of D’s commendable personality traits is being able to strike up a conversation with anyone, otherwise we would surely miss out on meeting such interesting people!

Explore your surroundings. Make today the day.

“When your life feels like you’re on a sailboat, with no wind to fill your sails, there are still choices. You can drop anchor and enjoy your surroundings. Start your motor, if you have one. Grab an oar and start paddling, or wait for the wind to fill your sails once again. There are always other choices while crossing the ocean of life…”

James A. Murphy

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