Autumn is easily my favorite season in New England: changing leaves, crisp days, chilly nights, cozy sweaters, and… warm, sugar-dipped apple cider donuts.
I think I’m getting ahead of myself a bit. But I just couldn’t wait to tell you about those donuts, which I devoured at Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow, Massachusetts. Phil and I spent a few days in Boston visiting friends, and my best college buddy Jackie organized a day of apple and pear picking on a sunny, perfect New England fall day.
There’s a quaint little shop where you can purchase jellies, jams, preserves, butters, and sauces made from produce grown at Honey Pot Hill. That’s also where you get the donuts…
…and honey sticks. Which are quite literally sticks filled with honey.
There were also fresh ears of late-summer sweet corn available when I visited.
And some random farm weaponry.
If you wanted, you could purchase heavy bags of pre-picked apples. But why would you do that? Doesn’t that take all the fun out of apple-picking? If the apples are already picked?
Luscious Cortlands and Empires and Royal Galas and Spartans… such regal names, for such an unpretentious fruit. We ate ourselves silly on apples but made room when we came to the pears.
It was just a rollicking good time. Dogs, pumpkins, pigs, goats, hayrides, and warm sugar-dipped apple cider donuts.
We spent some time in Boston, eating dinner on a friend’s roof deck and rambling around our old neighborhood.
We always loved to do breakfast and brunch at Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe, which really is more a diner than a sandwich shop. The place is a real local gem and has been around for ages. Since 1927, to be exact. Rumor has it that Sammy Davis, Jr. used to tap dance in front of the restaurant for change when he was a kid. There are no bathrooms at Charlie’s, and they still use wooden refrigerators purchased the year they opened.
We parked at the counter and I started the day out strong with Charlie’s famous turkey hash topped with a runny fried egg.
Later, Phil and I slurped oysters from the cold New England shores. Wellfleet, Pemaquid, Wianno…
Trips like this really make me miss Boston. But on my flight back to Jacksonville I remembered the snow drifts and the dirty slush and the gray days and the biting winds that would all begin soon and last more than half the year up there… Know what? I’ll take palm trees any day.