One of the highlights of Autumn each year for John and me is a trip to Schutt’s Cider Mill in Penfield. When John was a teenager, he went to Schutt’s each year with his mother. It is a great place, filled with interesting items. We look around at all the crafts and miscellaneous seasonal goodies, but we usually end up buying the same exact things.
We enter Schutt’s through the side door. Entering through this door, the first thing we see is a long trough filled with varieties of apples. Mmm. This year we headed right for the Honeycrisp, which is our new favorite apple. We picked up a peck of Honeycrisp apples.
Next, we head for a table in the center of the store. The table is always piled high with boxes, each containing a dozen fried cakes. The boxes are divided into two stacks – one side holds boxes of glazed fried cakes and the boxes on the other side are “mixed,” which means 6 glazed, three plain, and three covered with cinnamon sugar. I do not know what Schutt’s secret recipe is, but the fried cakes are delicious. Our family loves the cinnamon sugar fried cakes the best, so they disappear within seconds.
After we select our box of fried cakes, we head to the cheese cooler. Schutt’s sells the best extra-sharp cheddar. We call it “stinky cheese.” A big block of the cheese is added to our pile of purchases.
The most important item, of course, is the cider. Most cider these days is not very good. Pasteurization laws seem to have changed most cider into glorified apple juice. At Schutt’s, however, the cider still tastes like cider: tart-sweet and tangy. We chose a gallon, debating whether we should buy two. A gallon of Schutt’s cider does not last long. We convinced ourselves that we can return to Schutt’s another time this Fall, since it is only mid-September.
As we were leaving Schutt’s, I noticed the fantastic old barn across the street. It stood out against the brilliant Fall sky. I was very happy that I had my camera with me to snap a picture.
At Schutt’s this year, we avoided some of our usual temptations – the maple sugar candy that Emily loves, glass jars of apple butter and other preserves, fresh acorn and butternut squash, frosty cider ice cream. We stuck to our “top” four items and left, satisfied in the completion of this great Autumn ritual.