I grew up in a suburb of Sacramento, and we would regularly head up to Apple Hill every fall: a string of orchards up in the foothills, off the two-lane highway winding up to Lake Tahoe. We bought apples, apple crisp with its delicious brown sugar crumble on top, apple cider, and the occasional apple pie. I have some lovely memories, as both a child and an adult, of visiting Apple Hill.
So I jumped at the invitation made by our friends A+R, to take us with them last Sunday to Rosenhills, to see the orchard’s apple press and have some treats. But first we had to make a pit stop at a loppis or two on the way, where A picked up some odd goodies (including a tiny traditional wooden spoon) and R snagged some crazy old 45’s, with recordings of some Swedish bands like the Spotniks, attired in their most excellent 60’s spacesuits. The last loppis was a giant underground flea market, with piles upon piles of junk and treasures, under a grocery store out in the suburbs. I was sorely tempted by what looked like Mughal art, and a weird outsider-art bridge. Fantastic!
Post-perusing, we headed on to the apple orchard. (We even got stuck in traffic, just like going to Apple Hill, only on a flat highway!) R warned us: This will be a hippie place. And it was indeed very eccentric, appointed with found furniture, clever handmade objects like lanterns from punched tin cans and woven wire baskets for sale, and a used-goods exchange in an open barn in the back. They also have a giant mechanical apple press, where we watched the last few bushels of the day (loaded up by customers in big blue IKEA shopping sacks), as they churned through the machine into juice, to the strains of a crashing symphony.
Rosenhills’ warm apple cider was delicious, and so was the apple salad that accompanied my beet and goat cheese pie. But the treats seemed to have no apples: dense chocolate cake, even denser lemon cake covered with poppy seeds… yum. (Actually, A+R split an apple-pie like concoction with yogurt sauce, so I am exaggerating.)
On our way back home, we dropped in at the Royal Palace (Drottningholms Slott) to take a look around. The Chinese Pavilion is intriguing (loved the dragons with breasts!), if a bit out of place. All in all, a delightful fall excursion… one last drive before A+R put their car in storage for the winter!