Saturday, October 1, 2005

An apple a day

We live in the self-proclaimed Apple Capital of Georgia. Within a 5 mile stretch of the road between our house and town are about 8 or 9 roadside apple houses. The highway department even put up a sign at each end of the 5 mile stretch warning folks of 'congested area next 5 miles'. And you better believe it is, come apple season. It takes twice as long to get to town and twice as much patience. You have to watch for the tourists, who will suddenly stop in front of you at the sight of an apple house. Gotta love 'em!

Our favorite apple house is Hudson's, where everything is the same as it was back in the 70s when we would stop by there to see our neighbor, Robert. He would take his produce there to sell, and loafer for a while, or help out around the apple house. He showed us once how cider was made. Robert is no longer around, but the owners of the house are the same, just getting closer to retirement. Buddy's favorite is Mrs. Reece's dried apples, crispy like chips.

There is another apple house run by a local entrepreneur lady who really knows how to bring the folks in. A trip to this establishment is not just a roadside stop out on a Sunday drive through the mountains, but a destination planned in advance by all the city folks. There are hundreds of places to park to start with. Then (in addition to apples) there is everything from hotdogs to hayrides to a petting zoo.

Just like Forrest Gump had all sorts of ways to fix shrimp (you can barbecue it, boil it, bake it…), the folks here have lots of ways to fix apples. At the apple houses you can find fresh off the tree apples displayed and sold in bushels, pecks, half pecks, or any other way you want to buy them, apple cider, dried apples, fried apple pies, apple donuts, apple bread, apple fritters, apple sauce, apple butter, apple jelly, chocolate apples, caramel apples, mmm… I think I need to make a run myself.

Eating any or all of these may not keep the doctor away, but they sure are good, it is no wonder all those tourists find there way here on fall weekends, guess they know a good thing after all.

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