Sara drove Bannack and I upstate to an apple orchard to pick our own half bushel of some of the best tasting sweet apples I’ve ever eaten. Cars filled the parking lot outside the gift shop. Inside we bought our bag to fill and got advice on where to pick from a muscle shirted guy standing in front of his date, “Go all the way back.”
Back around the shop there was a duck pond, a pumpkin patch, chickens, goats and a rustic tree lined trail up to the orchard. I’ve never seen apples hang so heavily from trees before. Some branches were broken from the weight.
By the time we got to the top of a hill a man eating a huge stalk of broccoli stopped his light-duty four wheeler. I asked him where to find the best tasting apples and he pointed the way down the other side of the hill to a row of trees right on the edge of the farm. As he pulled away I noticed a bottle of beer in his cup-holder.
We charged down the path feeling a little like trespassers, the little road had a more private feeling than the open orchard. Down in the trees though it was near paradise. Apples from the first few trees were all of the same type but some were sweeter, some crisper, some more subtle. All astoundingly delicious, especially the ones that grew high up in the sunshine. We filled our half-bushel basket to the brim in no time and carried our loot back to the car talking about all the wonderful things we’d make with all these apples.
The next day Sara and I peeled, cored and sliced (by hand) about three quarters of the apples to make applesauce, spiced apple butter and enough canned apple pie filling for 6 pies. Last night we made a pie and even though I undercooked it—by just a little—it was just as tasty as if it was picked fresh off an apple pie tree. Apparently this sudden family obsession with apples extended all the way back to Montana. My mother sent this photo of the apple press my father cleaned up that they will use to make cider this year when their apples come in. Maybe a little applejack too? I hope so.
We rolled through 615 miles this first day, from breakfast at the No Sweat Cafe to the less than succinctly named Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel Bismark here in North Dakota. Sara, Chris and Bannack are heading home to New York City and I’m along for the ride.
This trip seems like an extension of my recent trip to the Italian consulate in San Francisco. When I count it all together my summer road trip miles will have reached over 4500 when I arrive in New York. That’s 77 hours of car time according to Google Maps. As you can imagine, rest stops are precious.
Bannack and I were both in the same kind of stir-crazy mood when we got to Wibaux, Montana. The empty deck at the brewery wasn’t a perfect playground but it meant running, airplane rides, bull fighting, getting thrown in the air, Tootsie Rolls, and donkey kicking. We visited Wibaux’s real playground too, but it was the empty kind with painful spiky grass, swings that pinch, and those metal horses on springs that look like they should be really fun but still aren’t.
Sunday we’ll be in Chicago for a night or two, Wednesday night we’ll arrive in New York, and I’m looking forward to every rest stop along the way.
Postcards aren’t what they used to be, but they’re still a lot of fun to make. Thanks to his mom, Bannack and I have traded a few videos like this one in the past few days. It’s such a treat to be able to have a little album of videos to carry around with me too. It means that if anyone is halfway interested I get to perform my proud uncle ritual of pulling out my iPod and showing off Bannack’s cuteness.
It wasn’t easy to say good bye to Bannack as he took off to Great Falls for his New Year’s trip but we had a great week together, and a great day today. He burst into my room this morning by throwing himself against the door and flopping on the ground. Breakfast at the No Sweat with Ed. Fish feeding at the Merc. A walk into the wind to the science museum with my mother and a ride around the carousel with Bannack on a fish.
I’ll miss you little guy, and I’ll see you in May!
Hello, I live in Brooklyn. There is a great little park by my house, I call it June Park. Sure there are toys around—slides, bridges, a cement whale—but my favorite part of the park is this little hole in the ground. Let me demonstrate how I sit in it. There are more ways than you might think to sit in this hole. Ahh!
You’re welcome to come by anytime, the hole is always open!
My roommate Bannack and I have been throwing a sheet over his little table and chairs to make forts in the early morning. He likes being inside the tiny space we make and I like that I get to lay down for a few minutes more, even if it’s on the floor. So I was delighted to read my friend Marissa’s fort-centric how-to post on her new blog.
…Finally, you will want to photograph your fort when complete. If you’re feeling real-estatey, create a walk-thru video of your own, OR hire a third party production company that can create a 360 virtual tour of your fort. This is all good to share using social media. Your friends and family will enjoy seeing something you built, but scaled to fit a small person. You will get comments like, “ummm, that’s amazing and beautiful/luxurious!” and “Nice moat!.” These are all great things to hear, but you know that once you’ve finished this fort, it must be destroyed and replaced by a better one.
The subject immediately reminded me of the delightful architectural criticism parody: Couch Cushion Architecture; A Critical AnalysisPart One and Part Two
At first glance the composition appears unintentional and the construction shoddy. But further investigation reveals a clear delineation between indoor/outdoor space with a design focus on protection through the use of barrier. Planes are shifted off the orthogonal to accommodate function; as a side effect it relieves inhabitants from a harsh Euclidian geometry. Grade B
If you’d like to know more, here is a very expensive book: Ottoman Forts
Sara guided us to the waterfront yesterday afternoon to visit Williamsburg’s weekly flea market-style food fair Smorgasburg. There were lots of tempting food stands, each one filling a very specific gourmet niche. Out of all there was to offer we sampled mole tempeh tamales and smooth Basque gazpacho from Txikito, but the best in show were the killer donuts from DOUGH, a donut only bakery on Fanklin Avenue.
We ordered one cafe au lait, one toasted coconut, and one candied blood orange for us grown ups and Bannack got a dollar’s worth of cinnamon sugar donut holes. I’m going back because we still have to try lemon glazed poppy seed, hibiscus, or passion fruit with chocolate nibs.
The cupcake revolution is over, long live the donut.