After leaving Maine, we spent a quintessential fall weekend in Ipswich, MA. Ipswich is a
small town about 30 miles north of Boston and home to The Salah Family. Hung met the Salah's during Thanksgiving weekend of his freshman year of college. Hung grew up in Oklahoma and traveling back to Oklahoma from Maine for a four day weekend wasn't an option. When one of Hung's new friends (Matt Salah) found out that Hung wasn't going home for Thanksgiving, he invited him to his parent's house for the weekend. From that weekend on, Hung became an honorary member of the Salah family.
Upon arriving, our hosts gave us a summary of the many events going on around the area. We quickly settled on The Ipswich Lions Club Annual Chowderfest. Ipswich is known for its seafood, particularly clams, so we were ready to sample chowder as local restaurants battled for bragging rights. We were not disappointed by our decision. During our two hour visit to the Chowder fest, we sampled eight local chowders, tapped our feet to the live music, and enjoyed the sunshine reflecting off the Ipswich River. Our favorite Chowder: The Ipswich Clambake.
Our next stop, despite our full tummies, was Russell Farms for apples, cider, and donuts.
Cider donuts are by far my favorite part of any orchard outing. While the adults savored the warm baked goods, the kids ran over to look at the animals and play on the swing set.
All baked goods made from SCRATCH. Sign next to register informed us that all oil used to cook donuts was reused as biofuel to run the tractors in the orchard.
Save the Earth: Eat Donuts.
The next morning Hung and I drove over to Ingaldsby Farms in Boxboro, in search of the
"best muffins on earth." We found delicious, cake-like muffins the size of grapefruits bursting with fresh berries. My favorite: The Blueberry-Raspberry Cream. The tartness of the fresh raspberry and blueberry was perfectly offset by the cake-like-muffin and the sweet cream cheese filling. We found a picnic table outside, ate our muffins and drank the dunkin' donuts coffee we had purchased on the way to Boxboro.
Love at first bite
On the way back to Ipswich, I informed Hung that my stomach hurt--I had eaten too many sweet things and needed something savory. Just as I finished telling Hung of my need for something without sugar, we turned the corner on Rt. 1A and saw "The Clam Box." The Ipswich Clam Box is a landmark, the building actually looks like a box of clams. The restaurant has been around since 1935 and draws huge crowds in the summer. A quick nod from me, and we were pulling into the parking lot. Since we weren't really hungry, just needing something savory, we decided to split an order of fried clam strips. We received a heaping container of not-too-greasy, golden, crispy fried clams. YUM!
The famous trapezoidal restaurant
Ok, I've been talking about food A LOT. To burn off all the calories, Hung and I spent the next few hours walking at Appleton Farms. Appleton Farms is a working farm with miles of well kept walking trails that are open to the public.