Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Apple Rush

I went looking for fruit last weekend and got annoyed by the prices at the local grocery store. They sold only one variety of apple that cost less than one dollar per pound, and they were completely out of it. We hopped in the car and drove to the historic gold-mining town of Julian, CA and discovered their annual Apple Festival.

The town was transformed into one giant parking lot. Tourists lined the sidewalks, waiting to buy apple pie. We could have driven all the way home and baked a pie in the time it would have taken to get served a slice. We opted to duck into an out-of-the-way bakery and buy white chocolate cranberry cookies instead. They were the size of our heads and loaded with brown sugar and butter.

Since it's so near to Halloween, we felt compelled to climb to the top of the Pioneer Cemetery.

It was created during the turbulent Gold Rush, due to an urgent need for an impromptu cemetery. Here’s a view of the little mining town from the top of the hill:

We also stopped by this little soda shop and drug store. The basement of the store consists of a “candy cave”, where you can find unusual treats like violet flavored pastilles and crunchy barbeque flavored caterpillars:

If you’ve ever passed someone spritzing perfume while your mouth was open, you know the taste of violet candy. I declined to try the caterpillars because crunchy caterpillar legs look scary.

On the way home we stopped at an apple orchard and filled a big bag with pesticide-free apples for five bucks. They were so good I didn’t even bother to weigh them to see what kind of deal we got.


Rebecca Ramsey said...

A fun day despite the crowds!

I love your description of the taste of violet pastilles. And bbq caterpillars? Yikes!

Bish Denham said...

Sounds like a very neat excursion you had!

sruble said...

The apple festival sounds fun, even if it was busy. The violet candy is gross (it tastes exactly like your description). I always preferred the Teaberry candy (I think it's the same company). It's sort of a wintergreen flavor - have you had it?

Rena said...

Sounds like a fun, yet interesting, day out. I just bought some of the most delicious Honeycrisp apples at a local produce shop. OMG! These are melt-in-your-mouth type apples! They are SOOOOOO good!

October is Apple Month, you know! ;)

Brenda said...

We have a lot of apple orchards around and fruit markets...we never go to the grocery store for fruits and vegetables anymore...the taste of home grown is soooo much better...

Great pics...

adrienne said...

Becky - In France we found rose flavored lemonade - I prefer that. Lavender tastes good, too. Caterpillars...forget about it!

Bish - Sometimes a change of scenery is necessary!

Sruble - I think I have tasted that. I like wintergreen, too.

Rena - I've never heard of Honeycrisp but they sound wonderful! Can you bake with those?

Brenda - I'm jealous! They are a little out of the way for us, but I wish I could find a convenient farm stand. Grocery store produce is disappointing.

Kim Kasch said...

I love apple festivals. We have one here ”Portland

Saucy said...

My dad brought me violet candy from England when I was little. I remember the smell and the taste, thank you for this post!

Carrie Harris said...

You'd think that since apples are in season, it would be easier to find them at a good price, but I ran into the same thing at the grocery store. Grrrr.

adrienne said...

Kim - It sounds great - a scarecrow contest would be fun!

Saucy - I love how tastes and smells - or just the thought of them - can trigger a memory like that.

Carrie - I know, I've been waiting all summer!