For my birthday in early October, I planned a girls weekend in Palm Springs around a couple of my favorite fall delights, apple picking and pie. Just in time for the last weekend of apple picking season, we drove an hour from Palm Springs to the town of Oak Glen. Oak Glen is a five mile loop of orchards in the heart of Southern California Apple Country.
The orchards were buzzing with apple lovers of all ages. Before heading into the trees, we listened to a brief lecture on how to pick an apple without damaging the tree. In case you’re wondering, picking an apple is similar to screwing in a light bulb. Push up and twist gently.
Most of the apples were out of reach, so we shared an apple picker between the 7 of us. If I were just a few inches taller, I might have been able to reach one or two. I filled my bag until I had just enough to make an apple pie.
When we were done picking apples, we headed back to the desert and tied on our aprons. Following my godmother’s recipe, Jen and my sister Kyrsti helped me peel the apples and prepare the pie. Jess and Allie made a delicious vegetable lasagna for dinner. With Alia’s help, Rachel decorated the table with ghost pumpkins, vintage-colored hydrangeas, burgundy dahlias, burlap and mason jar candles. The flowers were from a special trip to the Downtown LA Flower Market the previous morning. As the table came together, the house filled with the sensational smells of cinnamon and apples.
At the dinner table, we toasted our glasses to friendship and reminisced about all the adventures that brought us together. I was enjoying the company and lasagna so much that I burnt the apple pie slightly.
I felt especially blessed that evening as I sat at the head of the table in front of six inspiring women. Pie is good, but it tastes even better with friends.
Jen, Kyrsti, Rachel, Allie, Jess and Alia – Thank you for a birthday I will always remember. Most of all, thank you for being your brilliant selves and blessing me with your friendship.
Oak Glen U-Pick Apples
Please visit the Oak Glen website BEFORE you go to check if u-pick apples are available: click here. You can also enjoy a variety of fall activities through Thanksgiving, such as pick your own pumpkin, press your own cider and make your own corn husk doll. Go wild!