Since I was to be away in NYC for an extended-for-fun work trip on the actual date, Ben and I did some celebrating of our five-year (!!!) anniversary both early and late. We first happily indulged in several rounds of pasta at Bucato, which is incredible if you’re a fan of hand-rolled, hand-cut variety — and why on earth wouldn’t you be?
The following weekend, he took me Los Rios Rancho in Yucaipa, which is located about two hours away from Los Angeles.
I’ve yearned for an apple-picking excursion for a couple years now, but never made it happen in time. I had painted a pretty picture in my head: on goes the flannel and ankle boots, then off to the orchards to fetch apples with one hand, gracefully, while clutching a pumpkin spice latte with the other. Afterward, we would go home to scamper lightheartedly around the kitchen, baking mini-apple pies from scratch with homemade dough. Martha Stewart, who?
Reality: The sun beat down, and the temperature quickly rose to above 80 degrees. Apples were sparse due to the ongoing drought and hungry worms, but we accidentally (pinky promise!) wandered into the off-limits section where pretty apples were much more abundant … until an irked employee caught us, rebuked us and shooed us out. Also, it turns out handmade dough takes up to four hours to chill. It’s even recommended to let the dough sit overnight before rolling into the pie crusts.
We glanced at each other, read the ain’t nobody got time for that look in each other’s eyes, picked up our things and went to see “Gone Girl” instead.
But if you do go, make a pit stop by the nearby village center on your way out. You’ll find freshly made mini-doughnuts (we scarfed down the apple cider- and pumpkin pie-flavored ones; in my opinion, well-worth the long wait), as well as candied almonds, cold apple cider and an array of other locally produced bites.
I’ll be back for you, mini-doughnuts.
Los Rios Rancho
39611 Oak Glen Rd, Yucaipa