Friday, August 31, 2012

A Trip to the Orchard

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Rory, who lived with her mommy and daddy in Tucson, Arizona, where it gets very, very hot in the summertime. So one day their friends Joe and Vicki decided it would be nice to take a drive over to Willcox, Arizona, where the elevation is higher and the temperatures cooler, and where Apple Annie's Orchard ( is, to see what Apple Annie had to offer and just to get out of town for the day.
 When they got to Apple Annie's, the nice lady told them where the different kinds of fruit were and gave them wagons and buckets and they headed out to look for some peaches, and they found lots of them. The lady had said they could sample all they wanted, so all four grown-ups and Rory probably ate more peaches than they ever had at one time in any of their lives, and picked lots more to buy to take home.
 After they'd picked all the peaches they wanted, they headed over to another part of the orchard to look for apples and Asian pears. Rory was tired of riding in the wagon so she got out to explore.

The Asian pears were just as abundant and just as delicious as the peaches! More tasting and more picking followed,
and Rory also found some Bartlett pear trees. By then her face was sticky with peach juice and bits of Asian pear, but she was very happy.

Even though it was cooler in Willcox than in Tucson, it was still plenty warm. They looked for apples, but not very hard, because it was getting to be lunch time, and besides, it's still early in the season. There will be more apples in a few weeks. They did try some Criterion apples like this one, and found them sweet and tasty.
 After purchasing the fruit they'd picked, as well as some jalapeño chocolate fudge in the gift shop, they went to Apple Annie's other site, where you can pick your own vegetables (the pumpkins won't be ready for another month) but the grown-ups were feeling lazy so they just bought some flying saucer squash and other summer squash, green beans, and tomatoes from the big walk-in cooler. Rory tried to shut her mommy and daddy in the cooler but Vicki and Joe talked her out of it. And then they all got back in the car and drove into town where they had lunch at Big Tex BBQ restaurant, which is actually a bright red converted railroad car, where the food was hearty and meaty, and where the staff were exceptionally nice.
      Then they all went back home to Tucson, happy and with full tummies. When Vicki and Joe got back to their house, they found that some of their perfect peaches had gotten a few bruises, so Vicki blanched those, peeled and sliced them and tossed them with a little lemon juice so they wouldn't turn brown (they were so sweet they really didn't need any sugar). Next morning for breakfast she microwaved some whole wheat pancakes that happened to be in the freezer and she and Joe topped them with nonfat sour cream, a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar (just because it's so nice with sour cream), then put the warmed peaches with their juices over it all. And it was very, very good.

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