This weekend my niece and I met for brunch at Blake’s Cider Restaurant which part of Blake’s Cider Mill, a must-see for anyone visiting Michigan for the first time or the tenth time. You are greeted by three funny looking puppets playing country music. This is the place to bring the family for sure! There are plenty of events you and your kids can enjoy together. For instance, watching how they make apple cider and then buying a fresh cup of cider to go along with freshly baked donuts! There’s a place for the kids to play and run around and explore. Be prepared, there is lots of sweets available, ice cream, homemade fudge and plenty of homemade condiments.
I myself can’t resist the homemade jams and jellies. Along the wall there are pre-packaged recipes for apple bread, apple fritters, apple crumb cake. Who can resist! So many recipes to choose from and bake for the family. Blake’s has been around for over 60 years and still is one of my favorite places to visit. Every year mom and dad would take us and we’d have a very long walk from the car to the cider mill, but it took only minutes before we would split to find our favorite spot. The best were the fresh cider and donuts, right off the mill and out of the oven. I have wonderful memories and to this day brings a smile.
Located across from the apple recipes are homemade jams, jellies, pumpkin spreads, homegrown honey, sweet butter pickles and so much more. Your sense of smell and taste is “at attention” as you walk through each section, just try to resist filling up your cart. I couldn’t. I bought a jar of pumpkin spread and strawberry rhubarb jelly for my morning muffin.
Next stop is the homemade fudge, so hard to pass up freshly made fudge in many flavors, especially chocolate! I couldn’t resist the chocolate fudge, so be prepared to be tempted if you plan a visit to stock up on fudge. I use a lot of essential oils around the house creating an atmosphere of tranquility, lavender is one of the oils I diffuse, especially if I’m feeling a bit anxious that day. If you like Lavender, there is a little stand with homemade lavender candles and scented miniature pillows filled with lavender, along with lavender soaps. I bought a small scented pillow to put under my “big” pillow. I couldn’t resist the smell, it’s so relaxing.
As you make your way to the front of the store, to the right is freshly baked apple pies, apple with rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry with rhubarb, all fresh-baked. Luckily, they had two sizes, big and small. I was tempted to buy a big dutch apple pie but settled for the small, so I bought two small pies to take home with me.
The next stop was the restaurant, Blake’s Hard Cider. My niece and I usually order a flag of different hard ciders to sip on until we find the “one”. Today, we both knew what we wanted, it’s called a “Grizzly Pear” and it was delicious! I bought a six-pack to take home with me. We settled for a table outside on the patio because it was one of those beautiful days when there is a light breeze and sunshine. I see my niece often because she lives about 90 minutes away and we both work full-time jobs, so this was the perfect day to get caught up on current events in our lives. The menu at Blake’s is full of light meals that pair nicely with the hard cider. All in all, this was an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The drive home gave me time to think about how lucky I am to have family and friends and how blessed I am to have those memories from my childhood. I think we forget to be grateful for the wonderful people that we share our lives with, our children, our parents, even our friends.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the negative news we hear and read each day, don’t you think? Some days I just can’t believe my eyes and ears. I don’t think it has registered that there is one universe and each of us has a space to fill, and like all children we must respect each other’s space and learn to share. What do you think?
On another note, I’ve got some tasty recipes coming up in the next couple of weeks, and then a trip to New Jersey to see my grandson is on the agenda. I can’t wait to get out-of-town for a while!
Until the next post….