Saturday, September 25, 2010

How's Them Apples

A few days ago we made our annual trip to North Georgia for apples. We always go to Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

Our main objective was to get 4 bushels of Gala apples to make jars and jars of applesauce. It is so delish and the Gala apples are so sweet you don't have to use any extra sweetener at all. We've learned once you have homemade you can't go back to store bought!
Grant worked...

and worked to help load up our 2 carts with apples.

He finally opted to hop up on the tractor they had sitting in the store. One of his most favorite things in the world to do when he goes to visit Popaw and TaTa is ride with Popaw on his tractor. All he kept saying while sitting on the tractor was "ride with Popaw." He was really checking it out so I'm really glad they were smart enough to remove the keys. I'm sure he wasn't the first little boy itching to take it out for a spin.

We always love getting to taste the fresh apple cider. Betsie enjoyed her cider and Mommy's too.

We always buy the majority of our apples already picked and bagged in the store, but this year we decided to also try our hand at picking a few.  It was a real treat for all the children to go on a wagon ride up into the orchard.

There were apple trees as far as we could see hanging heavy with all types of beautiful apples.

When we reached our destination the apple experts gave us instructions on the proper way to pick an apple. First...twist...Second...pull, and it really worked.

This was very important information for us since this whole apple pickin' experience was a first for all of us, but definitely will not be our last.

We all had such fun.

Naturally, Maggie pondered and pondered picking the perfect apple.

We were completely amazed that all the apples in the entire orchard are picked by only 12 people. In this day in time we simply assumed there had to be and easier way, but we were told each apple is hand picked exactly the same way we picked them, twist then pull.  The twins were old pros after only a few apples. We actually had to encourage them from picking more than our little bag could hold.

The best part of the whole outing was the taste testing. In typical Betsie fashion, she nibbled on her apple, Grant dug into his and Gracie completely devoured hers, I hope she left the seeds. 

 Betsie was still nibbling as we loaded up.

After asking around, we decide to try a local favorite barbecue restaurant The Pink Pig for lunch.

They really got into the "pink pig" theme around there for sure. There where pink pig plates for the kiddos.

There were pigs hanging from the rafters,

and pigs of every shape, color and size in every little nook and cranny. I can't think of a more perfect way to decorate a yummy barbecue restaurant. I forgot to get a picture, but one of my favorites wasn't a pig at all but actually the window treatments, or shall I say mistreatments...they simply had hanging from cord, pieces of red and white checked gingham clipped on the cord with clothes pins. Too cute.

Our adventure ended with a torrential down pour completely soaking Monty and the big girls as they raced to the car where the twins and I were already safe and dry before it hit.

The rain quickly ended and we enjoyed a beautiful drive home. I told the children my Mamaw always said when the smoke was rising from the hills it was a opossum cooking dinner. Where she got that tale, who knows, but what fun to pass down to a third generation.

From the looks of it I think they were having a family reunion!

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