Throwback: Top Five Things I Miss About Applefest (and Top Five Ideas We've Had for Making our Own)

by - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

 I wrote this two years ago, and if I wrote it today, mostly it would say the same things, with the addition that I would like to go see my dad's show. I doubt I will ever be ok with missing Applefest, though I do love our own little traditions now, and I bet lots of people feel this way. So here are my thoughts again...

I am feeling especially homesick this week, because it is Applefest back home this weekend. Franklin Applefest is a huge event in our town, and most FHS almuni go back for the weekend. We will never do that, because the Boy's family owns a restaurant downtown and my Dad is very often involved in the shows, so if we came home, no one would have time to hang out with us! So, this time of year I get pouty and start stating plans to move back as soon as possible.

So here are the things I miss most about Franklin Applefest every year:

1. The season- the air is crisp and cool, but most years it isn't too cold or too rainy (though those Applefests have definitely happened). The best part is that all the trees are starting to change color, so the whole area just looks beautiful. It is the BEST time of year to live in Pennsylvania. It's why fall is my favorite season, and I am pretty sure I am not the only one!

2. The Show! The Barrow Civic Theater always goes for a blockbuster at Applefest, so the show is often kind of "classic." I won't say they are all winners, but I love them when my Dad is directing. This year they are doing Oliver, and my Dad is the director, and everything I have heard is that the show is fantastic, so if you are in Western PA, buy tickets before they sell out (which they often do this weekend).
3. It's genuine and un-ironic weirdness- you get this a lot in the crafts. We have a shockingly large collection of Applefest seashells (The Pope, Elvis, the American Flag with Native Americans, etc.) The crafts every year go from sweet to just bizarre, but they aren't trying to be cool or weird or ironic. They are just awesome. Plus, very often when you walk around the parks, you will just happen upon something really odd. That is the insane beauty of living in a small town. Things are odd, without trying to be odd.
4. You see EVERYONE you know- This is a picture of me and my cousin Harrison from 5 years ago. This weekend, you can see Harrison with his band at Bossa Nova's on Saturday. Everyone comes back, and when you do, you can't go 5 feet without running into someone else you know. Of course, this is a mixed bag, especially if you are like me and you don't exactly love the small talk, but so often you get to see like 50 people you love in the same hour, and now I understand what a huge freaking blessing that is.
5.The Food- I am happy whenever I am in walking distance from some cotton candy. You could also get a great hot sausage sandwich. The Methodist Church also has a giant pancake breakfast, where you again see everyone you have ever known ever.

Ok, so we again are stuck here this year, so I am pulling out the old Applefest decorations and pushing the boy to buy the stuff I need for Apple Pie. So many of the things we just can't replicate- the crafts, the fall weather, and  seeing people we love. Those are all out (though we are serving at the church Saturday night, so we can look forward to seeing people who vaguely know who we are, oh joy). So I try to focus on the food, the weird representations of fall, and when we can we watch the movie version of the Applefest show. This is what I think works:

1. Apple Cinamon Pancakes- This is NOT what they serve in the basement of the Methodist Church, but it is what we have found works over the year. We make a regular batch of bisquick, just like they say on the box, then add less than a tablespoon of brown sugar and about 3 good shakes of cinnamon.

To make the apples, cut up whichever apple you choose (we usually start with something like granny apple, but for an apple like that you may have to add a little extra sugar). Peal, core, and slice the 5-6 apples, as if you are making an apple pie. Saute the apples with 3 tbs. of butter and a pinch of salt. Do this for 15 minutes, and add a bunch of cinammon, a 1/8 cup of sugar, and a 1/2 cup of water and have it simmer down til it is a consistency you like. If it doesn't seem right yet, throw in some more water and a pinch more sugar, and keep at it. Put on pancakes and enjoy!

2.  Drink apple cider! This may be the best part of our tradition, because it is so good. Even better now that I have given up juice.

3. Embrace our weird crafts and decor- Yep, we bring in little mini pumpkins and buy the weirdest fall/ halloween decorations we can find. I think now that I have the wall in the dining room, I might make some of my own weird crafts and hang them!

4. Hot sausage sandwiches- I am not sure I have any tricks to share on how to make these awesome, except that The Boy Puts the onions and peppers on the bottom of the sandwich so they don't fall all over the place.

5. Bring in fall-colored flowers- this may seem like a stupid thing, but here it is still way hot outside and it looks like July. You wouldn't even know it is fall. Bringing in some natural, but fall-shaded stuff. I am thinking I will try the apple candle-holders later this week. I will let you know how it goes!

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