We recently returned from a great weekend of camping in Messina, NY. This was our third time camping in the region and we endeavour to discover new treats each visit. Our traveling companions are very well versed in the Upstate New York area (having camped there many times over the past few summers) and did not fail to show us a new thing or two.
For this trip, the star for me was a visit to a small orchard. A person not as keen as my friend Derek, may have missed this gem, tucked away behind a senior’s home – but there it was. We had driven by ourselves several times without an inkling of what lay a hundred feet from the road.
Kaneb Orchard is a small orchard located right off Route 37 in Messina. According to their website, they sell over 30 varieties of apples, plus a variety of pears, pumpkins and cranberries. They also sell apple cider, apple-cranberry cider, pies, cookies and the star of the show, apple cider donuts. I really wasn’t ready to appreciate what a fresh donut tastes like. It’s been a while (sorry national donut chain, you really aren’t cutting it with your donuts).
We pulled into the parking lot just in time, as about eight cars pulled in right after us. The line up was just starting out the door, so I gave it a cursory glance and decided to let the boys handle the heavy lifting inside (standing in line!) while I explored outside. They had several varieties of plump apples available in various quantities (I learned what a ‘peck’ of apples was – about 10 – 14 lbs.) I tried to busy myself with photos, but let’s face it, the tantalizing scent of fresh cinnamon and frying dough was almost too much for any Foodie to stand.
After about 10 minutes, my husband emerged with his prize; a plastic clam-shell container, moulded just to hold six perfect donuts – which were slowly beginning to gather condensation on the inside of the dome. Not one to stand on ceremony when outside, eating delicious treats, we popped the top and I was allowed to sample the first one (I wasn’t going to eat a whole one…that is a slippery (albeit sugary) slope…).
I need to take the time to accurately describe the experience. I opened the container, experienced the waft of fresh dough-cinnamon-sugar-apple cider goodness; I gingerly plucked one of the donuts out of its nest; rotated it accordingly to conveniently take a lady-like bite; I made sure my eyes were closed so as not to be distracted by anything; I felt the crunch of the outer texture as my teeth broke through the donut’s surface; I relished in the fluffy, moist, warm, interior of the donut; I allowed the flavours to mellow in my mouth. Chew slowly, repeat…wait, I was only going to have one bite!
Definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the region. It is now on our list of places to re-visit, not including, however, the local gentleman in Norwood selling animal pelts and stuffed whole frog purses…shudder.