Therefore, we went on a trek to less-urban New Jersey today in search of a pumpkin patch and other fall goodness. Sadly, I have still not come across anything outside the FDL area that remotely mirrors the awesomeness of The Little Farmer (if anyone from FDL is reading this, please send me a pumpkin cream cheese muffin!), but that has not stopped my quest for the closest imitation I can find. We set out today for two places (DePiero's Country Farm and Demarest Farms) that promised pumpkins, apples, hayrides, and a bakery.
Here are the things I would expect/hope for in such an establishment:
- Pumpkin patch (check)
- Apple orchard (check)
- Hayride (check)
- Fall baked goods (check)
- Caramel apples (sort of...see below)
- Corn maze (sort of)
- Refreshment stand/brat fry
- Petting zoo
- Face painting
- European import grocery store
- Salad bar
- Butcher shop
- Seafood counter
- Potato pancakes (right next to the cider donuts!)
- Children's amusement park (including a dragon roller coaster)
Back to food...I have discovered by observation here and in Vermont that caramel apples are not nearly so popular here as in Wisconsin, which I think is very, very sad. One of the places we went today had them, but they were A. in a cooler and B. wrapped in cellophane. Hell no. Caramel apples need to be stabbed in front of you and dipped in a vat of creamy, warm caramel, then rolled in delicious toppings and eaten as soon as possible. At worst they should be eaten when after the caramel reaches room temperature. But definitely not cold, and there definitely should be no cellophane wrapper involved. The northeast seems to be much more interested in candy apples, but I can't for the life of me figure out why someone would prefer a hard sugar coating over creamy caramel.
Sadly, there are no pictures from today's outing because I realized after we were already out and about that the camera was out of batteries. And that's really a shame because I would have liked a picture of us walking over the Garden State Parkway to get to a farmstand to contrast with the pictures of walking over Quechee Gorge in Vermont. Oh well.
Man, I want a caramel apple...