Last autumn, my friends and I waited a little too long to go apple picking. We wound up with a bushel of one-step-up-from-crab apples, suitable for nothing but apple sauce and looking cute in decorative bowls. This year we were on top of it. Unfortunately, mother nature was not. After an unusually early bloom, the apple trees were all but bare by the time we got to them on Oct. 13. We got apple punked again. So instead, we picked pumpkins.

The only apples to be found were in wooden crates, picked for us. Where is the fun in that? They did, however, look much more edible than the rejects we picked last year, closer to Thanksgiving than Halloween. The town we went to was also much better than last year, with cute shops and cafes to pop into for coffee and antique window shopping and treats...

...like the most insane bacon maple doughnut you have ever seen, or really even imagined. This little (actually huge) gift from heaven made the entire trip worth it for Erin, and the tears of happiness in her eyes did the same for Julia and myself. As long as my beautiful friends are happy, so am I. And bacon makes everyone happier than apples.

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