Tiffany told me that one of the things she misses about the US, is the fall in Ann Arbor with Apple orchards, donuts and Cider. She wrote a beautifully detailed email, sharing her experiences and recommending that I check it out. There are a ton of Apple orchards around Ann Arbor, and I was ready to go. This was in October, and I am clearly falling back on writing. I’ve decided to use some consistent grey winter days for writing. We were lucky to be able to meet one of my husband’s colleagues, Jane and be shown around an Apple orchard in its full glory.
Excitedly, I call Mom first to tell her about the Michigan Apple Orchard Plan
As a kid my mom accompanied her my older sister to Bandipora during her first job posting. They have a large age gap, and my mother was just beginning school while her much older sister was in her first job. The landlords really took a liking to my little kid mom. There were lakes, rivers, trouts and Apple orchards that she grew up with during this time period. When I told her about my Michigan apple orchard plan, she immediately responded that she’d seen plenty and was even allowed to eat all the Apples there since she was a kid. I couldn’t compete with that. My mother is competitive about Apples. I think she can fight my husband on who can eat more Apples. Although, sadly, she isn’t allowed to have Apple juice anymore and that used to be our Jammu Tavi Railway station ritual when we were kids.
We drive to Clarkston, Michigan
I always feel so amazed when we drive here in the US. In an hour in Europe, we were always in Austria or France. In an hour in Michigan, we’re very much in the nearabouts of Ann Arbor. I wonder how long it’ll take for me to get used to the size of this country. I like small spaces. And I do miss Europe on such occasions. The drive was exotic. Just out of a few highways we had smaller country roads that felt nicer. In October, the orange trees do tend to set up a wonderful pattern along the roads. And that’s something I already miss, although it’s present only for the two weeks in fall or autumn.
Fall in Ann Arbor With Apple Orchards- at Porter’s Orchard, Michigan
It’s been so long that I had forgotten the name of the Apple orchard we visited. Family-owned Porter’s orchard it was in the end. The fall activities included: hay rides, pumpkin picking, apple picking, pony rides and other such awesome things especially for kids. But, considering we were visiting on a busy weekend with the sun in full blast (that I am missing now), it was a crowded day at the farm. Everyone had the exact same idea on the same day in sunny Michigan. Although, the winter has not yet been as scary as others have been predicting, a sunny day, I see is rare. The queues to the hayride were long and consuming. They were generally full of large families and not necessarily quick moving. After about fifteen minutes, we decided to venture into the farm on foot and leave the tractor ride aside. We walked through the Apple orchard noticing juicy McIntosh’s that I remembered for my Apple branding lesson among others.
This was followed by getting into the actual store and standing in another queue for Apple Cider (the good non-alcoholic one) and freshly made donuts. This line was long winding too, but had donuts at the end of it. So, no one really complained. Taking our basket full of fresh donuts and cider seemed okay for the day and we ignored all our sugar concerns. Soon we found a patch of the garden and gulped down those donuts in quick succession. The ride back home was filled with dreams of more hot sugary delicacies.
A week after, my newly Canadian nephew had his first tractor ride and pumpkin picking session in neighboring Montreal. Guess both aunt and nephew like the same things :-).
While I am not an Apple eater like my mother and husband, I am a devoted savory cooked Apple lover. I maintain no better vegetable curry was ever invented to be gulped down with lotus stem. Ok, maybe hakh (collard greens) comes close. And while I hunt for more suited green cooking Apples, the orchards and trees were keen reminders of I-spy memories set in Peer Bagh.
It’s a thing to do in Michigan next fall, if you didn’t already.