Photo by Anna Kanaley
To me, fall means Halloween decorations, cold weather and jumping in the leaves. But, it’s also a high stress time in terms of school and midterms, so I’m always looking for ways to relieve that stress, whether that’s through family bonding or hanging out with my dog. My family has countless traditions throughout autumn, but the one thing I refuse to miss out on is our annual trip to Dunn’s Cider Mill for their apple cider donuts.
The temperature finally dropped from the usual 85 degrees to an ideal fall temperature of 50, so when I woke up at 9 a.m. on Sunday, my family and I grabbed our jeans and hoodies and headed out the door.
We drove 25 minutes south in search of the big white sign with “Dunn’s Cider Mill” in bold red lettering. Pulling into the gravel parking lot off of Holmes Road in Belton, Missouri, I could see the line of people flooding out the door and families taking up the entire barn.
I waited in line for 15 minutes before even entering the barn, although I knew it was worth the wait; every time someone opened the door, a breeze carrying the warm, apple cider aroma hit me, and reminded me why I was standing outside for so long. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, almost as if everyone there were old friends or neighbors.
My family ordered three dozen donuts – six old-fashioned, and the rest apple cider. The donuts were $10.49 a dozen, and while it was more expensive than my go-to Dunkin Donuts order, the warm balance of sweet and savory made them well worth the price. I ate five donuts in one sitting, and we still had a dozen left to take home. Each soft bite made me wish it was healthy, so that one more couldn’t hurt.
We also ordered Apple Cider Slushies and Hot Spice Cider to go with the donuts. It was the perfect food and drink combination, with the right amount of sugar and spice. The hot spice cider fit the chilly temperature outside and heated me up. My sister and parents, on the other hand, ordered the slushie because they were brave enough for a cold drink in that weather. But even though the slushie was cold, it didn’t take away from the cider taste. Still, I’m glad I went with the hot drink.
We sat at a table outside of the barn, where we could see more families joining the line. Because the donuts were so good, we felt obligated to assure them that they were in for a treat. I urged them to order my favorites, the apple cider donuts and the hot spice cider.
Overall, the wait in line was worth it when I tasted the donuts and cider. Even for a 25 minute drive, I would spend that gas money just to go back to Dunn’s Cider Mill. This outing reminded me why it’s a family tradition, and I encourage all families to take the time to venture out here for some fresh donuts.
Photo by Anna Kanaley