Friday, October 7, 2016

keeping it simple

Remember when the apple house was just a roadside stop on the way to somewhere else? 

With the goal of catering to tourists, some of the local apple houses have gotten on the bandwagon, they are now a Destination. The ads promise a whole day of family fun - pick your own apples, petting farm, bakery, zip lines, apple cannons, hay rides, pig races, cow milking, clogging, live band… the list goes on and on, similar to the line of traffic on our local highway.

In addition to things to do, there are lots of things to eat, you know you have to keep the folks fed so they will stay longer. Of course the usual apples and cider, but you can also get all sorts of things like BBQ, chicken-on-a stick, deep fried oreos, ice cream. The apple houses compete for business, one even boasts '11 flavors of fried pies'.

Those places are fun for the city folks and a good way for the local farmers to make a living, good for them! But we steer clear of the touristy areas, and keep going to our favorite apple house now for over 40 years, since we have lived here in Cartecay, Georgia.

Hudson's Apple House is an old time apple house, literally on the side of the road. White clapboard siding, tin roof, concrete floors, high rafters, cool in the summer when the breezes blow through all the open doors. They have apples. Bags and bags of apples. All kinds and colors and flavors. In baskets, bushel, peck, half peck.

Sometimes they will import some cider and fried pies to sell. Sometimes Ms. Ruth makes up a batch of dried apples.

They used to make their own cider, like all the local apple houses did, back in the day before the government got involved. Nowadays it is not safe to drink homemade apple cider, it has to be 'processed'. It never hurt us, kind of like all that raw cookie dough we used to eat and when we used to lick the beaters after making a cake… but back to the cider.

The old cider machine is no longer there. Our first neighbor, Robert Mealer, worked at the apple house during the season, or maybe he was just there selling his vegetables, I can't remember. One time he showed us the cider press, explained how it worked. Apples that were blemished and not good enough to sell (or those picked up off the ground) would make some mighty good cider.

There is an empty rocking chair where Mr. Reece sat for his last few years, after many years of working in the apple orchard and on the farm. Now he is watching over the family business and resting up in farmer heaven. Ms. Ruth is still behind the counter at the cash register, she always asks about the kids and where is Buddy working and tells us about all of her family.

Keeping it simple at Hudsons, if you are in the market for some locally grown apples without all the hype, stop in and visit. You'll be glad you did. It is still a roadside apple house and they sell apples and that is enough.

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