Almost every year for the last 15, we have taken an October trip to Carver’s Orchard and Apple Barn in Cosby, TN. Carver’s, located at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is our annual kickoff to fall. This year a little vacation got in the way so we grabbed our last vacation day to continue the tradition. Only the trip landed on the 2nd day in November and based on the weekend weather, it felt like we were kicking off winter.
While we did not get snow in the city, many areas in east Tennessee received their earliest snow on record. From Knoxville, we could see the effects of yesterday’s 22” snow on the mountain tops in the horizon. The closer we got to the GSMNP, the more visible the delineation of snow and no snow.
When we pulled up to the entrance of the GSMNP Foothills Parkway, our usual route into Cosby, we found it gated and closed due to snow and ice. I was a little disappointed because our annual selfie, from our favorite mountain overlook was not to be. We backtracked and took the lowlands route into Cosby.
Carver’s is a tradition for a lot of people. Over the years, the Carver’s folks have capitalized on their high visitation by adding a restaurant, candy store and lots of seasonal decorations. I noticed another shop in the works on this visit.
Oh so many apples to choose from
When we first started our Carver’s tradition, we bought apples by the bushel. I would core, peel and dehydrate the apples then store them in the refrigerator for months. At that time we were doing a lot of backpacking and the dehydrated apples were perfect for trail snacks and evening desserts. These days we are not doing many backpacks so we have cut our purchase down to a bag or two and we mostly eat the apples fresh.
Jona Gold’s rank high among our favorites but the flavor and texture can vary by year. Usually sweet and crisp, the growing conditions for the past several years produced soft, watery apples. Since the Carver’s folks are pretty accommodating about sampling, we set about crunching into 4-5 different types of apples. I am happy to report that Jona Gold’s and the crunchy, sweet-tart Carousels made our cut this year.
Along with apples, jam and apple butter are usually on our purchase list. But last year, when we opened a jar of Carver’s Blueberry Jam that had been on our shelf for a month or so, the top was covered in mold. This year John gazed long and hard at these shelves before he finally decided not to risk it.
Yep, I am pretty happy to be at Carver’sr! Note my new shoulder handbag from Italy, it is burgundy and brown and absolutely delicious.
After our trip to Carver’s, we headed into Cosby and the Great Smoky Mountains to get a taste of the lower elevation snow fall (only a few inches). It is so unusual to see the fall colors mixed with snow.
Annual Carver’s Apple Barn weekend selfie
We are headed back to work tomorrow (sniff, sniff). Hope your upcoming week is filled with sunshine. Thanks for reading!