Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Crow Mountain Orchard

Nothing says fall to me than trees of concentrated colors. But here in Alabama, in mid October, there is not that resonating sign of fall-not for a couple more weeks. But for now there are the fall decorations, the crisp cooler temps in the morning and overnight hours. And....aside from the trees, this is a real sign of spring for me.....

Crow Mountain Apples and Apple Juice and Cider.
There isn't anything that taste as fresh in the fall.


I kid you not.
Crow Mountain Apple Orchard Apples are the best. There is no comparison. None! I can truthfully and honestly attest to that fact.

When I think of fall...I think of Crown Mountain. I also think of adjectives like sweet, juicy, crisp, firm and plump.
These are adjectives that Big Daddy also uses to describe me....but that's another story.

I was turned onto the apples and Cider at Crow Mtn Orchard by my cousins Johnny and Glenda (we call her GOG or Granny) about 6 years ago. It has been my attempts and effort to go annually for the apples. And better yet, the apple juice. The Juice is unpasteurized. Making it the freshest tasting juice you could put into your mouth.

Here is a secret about Crow Mountain Orchard...they let you sample before you buy. Free. Samples. Free. This goes for the apples and the other fruits that they harvest on the mountain: peaches, pears and grapes.

Crow Mountain Orchard has a lot of fruit. Don't believe me? Here are the numbers....
*25,000 apple trees including 25 different varieties available between June 20 and December 15 *2,500 peach and nectarine trees including the popular freestone varieties, Indian Cling, and white peach
*2 acres of seedless grapes in six varieties
*7 varieties each of pears and plums that start ripening in mid-July

Do you know what this means?????
That there is plenty for you and me both....with some leftovers. Have apples, Make friends.
Crow Mountain Orchard plants only the best varieties, pruning them throughout the year, thinning them to get the biggest size, and very carefully picking them to bring them to their customers without bruises or blemishes. Crow Mountain Orchard has built a reputation for selling some of the finest fruit in the Southeast. Our customers come from as far away as Florida, Birmingham (that's me!), Tennessee and Georgia.

Currently, these are the goodies that are in season: FRESH CIDER!! APPLES: Jonagold,Red Delicious, Gold Delicious, Jonathon, McIntosh, Pippin Gala.

If you live anywhere within driving distance in the southeast, make the trip. You will not be sorry. And if you are looking for something to do in the area, somewhere to stay, and you know that I am going to give you a tip on places to eat-be sure and read these post of suggestions.

Riverside: Features First Monday in Scottsboro, Unclaimed Baggage (as seen on Oprah and the Today Show), The Blue Willow, The Farm House Restaurant
Top O the River-restaurant review
Floating condos- where to stay
From The Mountain to Marina-activities
Unclaimed Baggage-where to shop
Tate's BBQ- a picnic or takeout must! Why not picnic in the apple orchard?
Cumberland Plateau Area- Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee. I have posted about it before. See here, here, here, here,or here. It's where you will find Hammers, Bell Buckle Cafe (the best country cooking aside from momma's), Sewanee University, among other notable and interesting places.

and keep in mind the Fort Payne, Mentone, and Chattanooga areas to "must"see.

Hours: 8:00 to 5:00 7 days per week

What's in Season? Fruit Calendar

And because I love you....Here are some fabulous Apple recipes...

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1 cup apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Olive oil to taste (optional)

Mix all ingredients; cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve with your favorite salad greens. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

1/2 gal. Apple Juice or Cider
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp. Allspice, ground
1/4 tsp. Cloves, ground

We prefer to make this beverage in a slow cooker or crock pot, set on "warm".
Preheat the Apple Juice or Cider in a pot on the stove top or in a microwave oven in an appropriate container. We use a 2-cup "Pyrex" measuring cup and heat on "high" in the microwave oven for 4 minutes, adding the contents to the preheated crock pot, and repeating this procedure until all the juice is heated.
Add the Cinnamon, Allspice and Cloves to the first batch of warmed Apple Juice or Cider in the crock pot and let simmer for about 1/2 hour.
We set the cups out beside the crock pot, and allow people to serve themselves with a ladle.

Apple-Berry Crisp

(You can add or omit the berries. I usually have some forzen blueberries in my freezer that I picked during the summer)
Ingredients For Topping1 cup quick or old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
Ingredients For Filling
4 cups thinly sliced and peeled apples, about 4 medium
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or sliced strawberries
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine topping ingredients and set aside. Combine filling ingredients and stir until fruit is evenly coated. Spoon filling into an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to- 35 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm with yogurt, if desired. Or ice cream if you want some serious joy.

Photo Compliments- Old Crow Mountain, Terri Steele, Serge 88, Feature Pics &Leigh -that's me!


Keetha said...

Lovely to look at too!!!

ValleyGrande said...

Leigh, thanks for the recipes. Love your blog - keep it up!!!

"J" said...

I would soooooooooooooooooooooooooo love to go here!!! It sounds like a TOTAL day of FUN!!!!!!! You know...I've never seen an apple orchard nor an apple tree!!!! I've seen pear and peach but not an apple tree?!?!? lol =)

Mr. "S" worked on an apple orchard in Ohio when he was a young boy!!!

I wished I knew of one here in Texas...I would sooooooooooooooooo go!!!!!! I love apple pie...I have a recipe for a Caramel Pecan Upside Down Apple Pie I use to make! Wow, I haven't made it in years....your apple post just made me think of it!!!!!

Leigh said...

Thanks Keetha!All the pictures are not from Crow Mnt. but another orchard. But a few pictures are from CMO. Thanks!

Thank you Valley. You are to kind. Glad you enjoy it.

J- Ok, girl. Dont hold out on me...forward that recipe! And coem on for a Al visit. We'd have to much fun.

Valarie said...

Mmmmm I think I want some apple pie know. :)

Beach Bum said...

We use to vacations in the Smokie Mountains around Cherokee, North Carolina and get fresh apple cider. Thanks for reminding me about when the most of the family took trips up there we would sit out on some deck at a motel or at the campground sipping cider in the morning watching the clouds pass in front of the mountains. It was awesome.

Charnita's Xpressions said...

Your post brought a tear to my eye. My sweet grandparents used to live for the trips to Crow Mt.
I thought it silly at the time....what I wouldn't give to have them back and make that trip with them.

Leigh said...

Valarie- you and me both....

Beach Bum- What sweet memories...and how poetic you are in your words. You paint memories so vivid I can imagne.

Charnite- You bring a tear to my eye too! That is so sweet...and how simple thinhgs, such as an orchard can hold such special memories (for both you and for Beahc bum) under the branches. I love that!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

i picked some apples upfrom the orchard the other day. the girls and i are going to do carmel apples.

Anonymous said...

There's just no describing their apple cider! I have never had any apple cider that taste this wonderful! As if you plucked a cup of it from the tree!

Anonymous said...

My grand parent's are the owners. They also had a orchard here in LaPorte,Indiana that I grew up on. I would eat fruit all day long straight of the tree and worked there at a young age making boxes and helping sort the apples. They since sold the orchard here in Indiana back in 1995. They have the best quality in fruit. Interesting fact my grandfather created a new Apple variety that's called the Cumberlin Spur(spelling my be off). It was nice to read all of the great things on here. Thank you so much. It made me realize how bad I need to get down to Alabama to see them.