APPLES are a quintessential part of autumn. They signal the cool, crisp weather to come with their own brand of cool crispness. Having just eaten a late lunch with some friends on a clear-skied autumn day on a restaurant patio, none of us indulged with a finish of dessert. But as we were standing in the restaurant's parking lot saying our goodbyes, I noticed the blackboard touting a new seasonal offering for dessert—an apple-pecan cheesecake. I went back in as we were leaving and ordered a piece to go. It sounded like the perfect thing for a bright fall day such as this. I'm glad I did, because the cheesecake itself was dotted with cubed apples and topped with chopped pecans. It was coupled with a sweet caramel sauce, which rendered it as perfect taste of autumn.
GEORGIA is well known for its summer peaches (and peanuts, boiled or otherwise), but more and more, its becoming known for its autumn apples. As they are grown in the north Georgia mountains, I made a special trip to Ellijay, in north Georgia to buy a variety of the first of the season's apples for this post, and filled in with a couple of "Yankee" varieties imported to the local supermarket for good measure. While not exactly a "tree," this centerpiece of apples stacked on a tiered wooden stand is a beautiful way to decorate for the season. The variety of natural-color-coordinated apples lend themselves well to such a dramatic display of their inherent beauty. This harkens back to the wooden German tree stands (or pyramids) that held evergreens, fruit, nuts, and other baubles around the holidays (thought to be the predecessor to the Christmas tree). The forerunner of the pyramid was a construction known as a "Lichtergestelle" (literally: light stand) which were very popular in the 18th century.
ELLIJAY, Georgia has a yearly apple festival which spans over two weekends in October. The Ellijay Lion's Club, the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay, and Gilmer County join forces to usher in the autumn season with a bumper crop of apples. The 42nd Georgia Apple Festival will be held the weekends of October 12-13th and October 19th and 20th. There will be over 300 vendors with handmade, hand-crafted items, as well as many on-site demonstrations of how selected types of crafts are made.
©2013 DARRYL MOLAND | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
photography and styling by Darryl Moland