I asked SM if they were this years crop? He asked her and she told him "Yes." After buying the fruit SM got back on the road, bit into an apple and called me back to say that it was dry with no flavor. He tried another one. Same thing.
"You turn right back around and take them back!" I told SM. "Someone sold her last years apples. There's no way a fresh crop of apples would be dry." The gal took the apples back and SM bought different apples instead which were crisp and juicy as they should be.
We've noticed that this happens more and more and I personally have no tolerance for it. We discovered last year that you can't even trust the farmers market for "fresh" produce. Lots of the fruit and veg is shipped in from out of state, even out of the country! Why bother?
Last Fall, SM had stopped at an apple orchard up in Hendersonville NC and bought me a bag of apples. Those apples were SO crisp, sweet and good compared to the crap that the local farmers market had sold us, that I'd told SM "From now on, we buy our apples from the source!"
So yesterday we decided to take a day trip over and buy up our supply of apples for the year. (I sauce most of our apples but I also like to store some for fresh eating over the Winter.)
Hendersonville is deep in the NC mountains and easily a 2 hour drive away from where we live. We got on the road about 9 am. Surprisingly the leaves aren't changing yet up in the hills. Or perhaps I should say that they are very dull in color this year.
Anyhow, we crawled along the orchards and markets along Hwy 64 outside of Hendersonville. Or perhaps I should say we ate our way through the area. Oh Yum!
We stopped at Justus Orchard first.
Many of the orchards are very smart and turn the farm into an "event" destination where a family can stop and pick your own apples, see the critters in the petting zoo...stuff like that.
Justus was pretty quiet while we were there. I made my apple choices while SM volunteered to test their cinnamon apple cider doughnuts.
SM said they were the best he's ever had and promptly bought a 1/2 dz more to sustain him during the difficult drive home.
Just as we were loading up the van, a tour bus pulled in. SM and I looked at each other. A tour bus? Time to leave.
We stopped at Mountain View next which was just a roadside stand. But they had my precious Granny Smith apples!!! "Yeah!" I love to sauce with Granny's and McIntosh. The Mac's were long gone (August-September apple). I was afraid I'd missed my chance with the Granny's but Mountain View had them so I snapped up a bushel.
On to Grandad's Orchard.
By this time is was noonish and they were VERY busy. It was hard to find a parking spot. Grandad's has a corn maze, pumpkin patch, petting zoo and children's train along with a bakery and BBQ spot.
SM and I were snapping pics, we even got each other.
Lots of cute kids.
And great eats.
While SM went and stood in line at the bakery, I stood in line for some BBQ. We sat down at a table and compared notes. SM had bought carmel apple cookies and fried apple pies (just OK according to SM).
I'd bought a Pork BBQ Sandwich with fries (which was very good).
I made the comment to SM "You can't have nothing but sweets all day long." and a lady down the table said "Sure he can." Which made everyone in ear-shot laugh.
We pulled out of Grandad's and headed into Bat Cave.
Then we zipped through Chimney Rock, a tourist trap if there ever was one.
What's the appeal? It's a rock that looks like...Well...You can figure it out.
By this time it's starting to rain so we zipped through Lake Lure and headed for home.
We listened to the radio, both talk and music. At one point SM had it on a station that was playing "St Elmo's Fire", a song from a 80's movie of the same name.
I can climb the highest mountain
Cross the wildest sea
I can feel St. Elmo's Fire burnin' in me
Burnin' in me
"I never liked that song." I said to SM. "What the heck is St Elmo's Fire anyway?" I asked.
"You know, I used to know that." SM replied. "Oh! That's right. It's referring to VD. Venereal Disease." He cuts his eyes sideways at me.
My eyebrows went up.
"You know...I can feel St Elmo's Fire burning in me." He pauses, looking at me.
"You're kidding right?" I ask. (I am so gullible.)
SM starts laughing. He leans over and pats my leg. "We need to get out and do this more often." He points out. "You're a lot of fun on a road trip."