Summer is mid-point. Crops are ready for harvest. Local produce is showing up in our stores. I love apples and the things you can make with apples – apple pie, apple dumplings, fried apple pie, stack cake (made with spiced apple butter), apple cider, and caramel apples to name a few tasty desserts.
In the foothills of the Smoky Mountains stands, The Apple Barn & Cider Mill. This is a wonderful place and a sure treat for anyone who visits!
It use to be an annual event for us to stop by. We’d pick up some pies and cider to take into the park where we wait until we got to Clingman’s Dome before having our special snack. From the parking area, we’d sit in the car enjoying the spectacular scenery as we savored each tasty bite of vine ripened freshness of homemade-like apple goodness.
1. What, if anything, do you do differently to enjoy the harvest or end of summer? Last year, we went to the Grainger County Tomato festival. This is a big event in our area, as it’s well-known for producing the best tomatoes. We hope to attend again, which is coming up soon. Some of the big farmers grown all kinds of produce, fruit trees, and berries. I want to try to get some locally grown apples, as this is something I haven’t done. There is nothing like the sweet taste of a golden delicious apple that ripens fully on the tree before being plucked off. Mmm-mmm, good!
2. Do you indulge in making special recipes for this time of year? In the past, I’ve made a point to make my husband’s favorite childhood treat, apple crisp. The memories of his mother making this dessert always kindled his heart. We began incorporating this tradition in our family life. Our children always looked forward to the fall time just so they could have apple crisp like their daddy did when he was a boy.
One thing is for certain, this fall I’m not going to to let the opportunity pass us up again. We will be sure to buzz into The Apple Barn & Cider Mill. Who said, we can’t have apple pie in the sky? It sure feels like we can reach out and touch the heavens from on top of ole Smoky.