This past September marked the one year anniversary of Alan’s Orchard located on Quimby Street in Westfield. And with all that one finds among the shelves, tables, refrigerators, and counters at this busy emporium, many customers simply enter and head for a cup of their refreshing, frozen yogurt, prepared from organic, grass-fed cows.

“It’s amazing how our yogurt really caught on with folks who want the taste of a really delicious yogurt, prepared with real pro biotic values,” said Alan Weinberg, proprietor. “You may enjoy it plain, or with a variety of our fresh-fruit toppings.”

And all the while that folks are shopping for their mini rugalach, pumpkin chocolate chip loaves, fresh breads, organic honey, chocolate or whole, fat-free, or no fat milk in glass bottles, Weinberg swears that his “Honey Crisp and Fuji apples are the best you can buy!”

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“You must try the chocolate milk,” said Fanwood resident Allison Speck. “It tastes like melted chocolate ice cream!”

But it’s the ‘Fresh Boxes’ that seem to be the current attraction. Filled with local fruits and vegetables. Weinberg began his program in May of 2011 with twenty-five customers. Today he boasts a list of two hundred, plus a waiting list of over 80 potential clients.

“People love the flexibility of the program,” he said. “They love the idea of picking up a box filled with fresh local produce. They love the convenience of steady, curbside pickup. Customers merely drive-up to the front door, and a member of the staff simply carries their box to their car.”

“For the spring of 2012, we’re planning to eliminate the “waiting list”, he continued. “I’m going to purchase a larger truck and additional refrigeration. This way, I’ll be able to visit many more farms, and offer a larger selection of fresh local produce.”

In addition to a variety of cheese, grass fed beef, candy and soap, visitors may select Griggstown Quail Farm Chicken Pot Pies, and fruit pies. They’re also able to purchase a variety of products from Muirhead Foods of Ringoes. Stop by and pickup a selection of chutney, mince meat, and fruit butters.

I’m including a recipe for proprietor Barbara Simpson’s out-of-this-world Pecan Pumpkin Butter Bundt Cake. Great for the fall season, you’ll love it served plain, with a sprinkling of confectionary sugar or a dribble of icing. It’s a great cake to take to friends and family for dessert, a holiday treat..or just because. Let me know what you think.

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1 package yellow cake mix (about 18.25 oz)
1 cup Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
4 eggs, large
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt or tube pan. Using an electric mixer, mix together all ingredients and beat for 2 minutes until well mixed. Pour into pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a cake rack. Invert onto cake dish. Serves 10 to 12.
What: Alan’s Orchard, 102 Quimby Street, Westfield
Call: 908.654.0700
Hours: Open 7 days. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday to Thursday. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
FYI: Order your Holiday farm fresh, Free-Range Turkey direct from Griggstown Quail Farm: White Broad-breasted Turkey, $4.49 lb.; Red Bourbon Heritage Turkey, $8.99 lb.

Turkeys will be available for pickup at noon, Tuesday, November 23rd through Wednesday November 24th at 8 p.m.: Fresh Box pickup: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday