The fragrance that wafts through the grounds and parking lot of the eye catching Edwards Apple Orchard in the farmlands in northeast Illinois is indescribable. It is the delicious filling of the air with the combination of apples, spices and hot oil that can only be that of fresh donuts.
Folks come from miles around to grab one of these beauties fresh from the vats.
We had heard that visiting the Edwards Orchard was a must before we left Illinois. We took the advice of the locals and weren’t a bit sorry. The hype of the place was not overdone. We waited in line for them to open at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday. We then made our way into the barn structure that is part store, part museum and Big part delectable zone! We followed the crowd to…..yep you guessed it. The line was for the warm donuts. “Just get one honey, not the half dozen.” Our attempt to savor and enjoy just one donut was futile. We looked at each other after finishing the last crumb of the first one and headed back to the counter for another.
We then browsed through the gift store, sampled the homemade jams and dips and encouraged each other to NOT buy one of everything. We purchased some apple butter and of course some fresh apples found in the many barrels in the barn.
The picturesque scenes of those barns and silos, fall flowers, horse drawn wagon and apple trees are the stuff of post cards and calendars. I wanted to drink it all in and keep it close in my memory as I know my time in the Midwest is drawing to a close. The melt in your mouth warm apple cider donuts, crisp cool weather and quality time with my husband made for a perfect Saturday morning.
The heart of dairy farm country has indeed captured MINE.