On a lighter note moving into the thick of fall; we have all things pumpkin season, daylight savings time, Halloween and the leaves are changing.
We have all been for the most part staying home and trying to lower the curve on covid.
But, we are getting ants in our pants and trying to find some fun fall happenings. We tried to find somewhere fun to go where we can social distance but, still enjoy ourselves! What better way than to be outside.
I wanted to share our weekend adventure and a recipe to make your own apple cider donuts even if you can’t make it out of the house.
We ventured out to Floral Park, Queens. The Queens County Farm is located at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, NY. Although the website does not say this; there is a free parking lot at the farm. It fills quickly so I would get there early. Otherwise, it’s the city, so street parking is an adventure to say the least.
Be mindful since this is all outdoors and a farm there are only porta-potties. So, go before you go. We heard there was a mysterious bathroom. But, we never found it. I suggest wearing good walking shoes, the place is huge.
We attended the Floral Escape. The cost is $20 for the escape and you need to pre-purchase tickets for specific time slots. It sells out each weekend so buy ahead.
It is an installation of about 15 sculptured themes. They have signage to remain six feet apart and you must wear masks between exhibits. You can take the masks off for photos only.
We spent about 90 minutes walking around, being silly, laughing, posing for a thousand photos, and getting back to just having fun again. We spoke to strangers, shared stories, and took photos for others and vice versa. I know this seems so simple. But, it was surreal. It was the first time in a long time we were out doing something in public. We were talking to people we didn’t know. It all seemed so brand new. It was surreal seeing everyone with masks on and realizing that for now, this is our new normal. But, it didn’t stop us from having fun.
The farm itself is open for other activities. There is a pick your own pumpkin, a corn maze, animals you can feed and there are two stores on the grounds of the farm.
There is a square on the farm that has various good eats with picnic tables where you can seat to eat all the goodies.
The farm stand store has pies ($12), cider 🍺 ($5/$10), Apples 🍎 by the bag and donuts ($2ea) 🍩. They vary their flavors each week. They take cash or credit cards. Only one party is allowed in at a time and social distancing is maintained on line via lines on the floor. The lines can get long but, moved quickly.
We run out of those scrumptious cider donuts every year. We are always left wanting more! I used this recipe to make my own year round! We ended our night with a bbq and a fire pit! I hope everyone can take advantage and enjoy themselves this fall!
APPLE CIDER DONUTS by Damn DelIcious (THEY come out perfect every time)
- 3 cups apple cider
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups of vegetable oil
- Heat apple cider in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1 cup, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.
- In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together butter, eggs, and apple cider.
- Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist; cover and place into the refrigerator until chilled, about 1 hour. Divide dough in half.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, roll dough into 1/2-inch thick rounds; cut out rounds with a 2 1/2-inch cutter.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F.
- Working in batches, add donuts to the Dutch oven and cook until evenly golden and crispy, 1 minute per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate for 30 seconds; then roll warm donuts in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
- Serve warm.
Deborah Levine-Powell is a psychotherapist in New York, where she works with teenage girls who are victims of abuse and trafficking. She is a wife and a mom to a tween and teenager. When she is not working, you can find her engaged in PTA activities, a leader at Girl Scouts, having fun with her friends and family, while serving up hot soulful dishes in the kitchen.