I’d like to say I had a voluptuous peach tree in my yard; however, such is (sadly) not the case. Nonetheless, peaches are at the top of my list at this time of year for several reasons, and I have the next best thing to my own tree.
For the record, I’m a many-decades-long supporter of Rouster’s Apple House on SR131 about six miles east of Milford. I have wonderful memories of weekend afternoons when
my dad would drive my brothers and me to Rouster’s, first stopping at the A&W Root Beer stand for gallon jugs of orange drink and root beer. When we arrived at Rouster’s, the place always seemed packed, almost frenetic, with people tasting apples and cider and buying homemade apple butter, jams and jellies. I remember special little apples that were always there for the kids. The place was always cool or downright cold as its only heat came from a fire in the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace in the main room.
For many of the most recent years I have made one or two big autumnal swings through Rouster’s, now being managed by the founder’s son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Donna Rouster. I look forward to chatting with Donna, a childhood friend, whose family and mine lived in Terrace Park. Every year we marvel at our lives’ twists and turns.
Rouster’s now offers over two dozen varieties of apples, including their hand-pollinated Krispy apple that makes its annual appearance for a small window of time in early Oct, and is largely available only via pre-order due to limited quantities and high demand. Today honey, popcorn, pickles, relishes and maple syrups complement the fruit butters, jellies and jams. Since 1984, Rouster’s has opened (and enlarged) its U-pick blueberry and thornless blackberry fields. Five-pound boxes of plump, frozen blueberries are also available for winter pies, as are frozen Michigan red-tart cherries, Pennsylvania peaches (the last of which is currently available), and Michigan cranberries.
Oh yeah, there’s a secret which I’ve had the good fortune to take advantage of every fall… black raspberries. Black raspberries, flash frozen individually, then packaged in two-quart containers. These are black gold, in my view, my absolute fav berry, bar none. The depth and richness of flavor, particularly when enhanced by a sugared recipe (pie, tart, jelly) has no equal. But that’s another post. Oh by the way, I bought the last tub.
Rouster’s Apple House, 1986 SR 131, Milford, OH 45150 513625.5504