Thursday, September 23, 2010

An Apple A Day

 Fall Display outside Carver's Apple Orchard - Cosby, TN
September 22, 2010

Yesterday was MIL day and we chose to make a trip up to my favorite apple orchard.  Carver's Apple Orchard is a perfect example of a family-run orchard that just does apples and does them well.  They haven't tried to turn their orchard into a tourist attraction - they don't even have a website.  But when you've put out a good product and offer friendly down home service for decades, word gets around and that it the case at Carver's.  The original Carver's went to school with my parents, so I've been going to Carver's all my life.  Their children and grandchildren are now running the business.  It's not fancy, but holds lots of memories for me.  If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you might remember that the last "outing" with my FIL was to Carver's on a gorgeous October day last fall.  I'd wondered how MIL and I would do yesterday, but other than some difficult moments when we walked by the trees where we had taken pictures last year, we both did just fine.  Here's a picture of the inside:

 The large pink board on the back wall is a handwritten chart listing all the varieties of apples they grow and what months they are harvested.  No technology here!!  I bought a bushel of Honey Crisp which are totally to die for.  Wish I could share one with all of you.   Also bought a 40 pound box of sweet potatoes that are grown at a farm just down the road from the orchard.   They are melt in your mouth good.

Had just the place picked out for lunch.  Mr. B calls these "woman food" restaurants and although it isn't far from the orchard, I knew FIL wouldn't be interested either, so had never mentioned it before.  But I was ready this time and off we went to the Wild Plum Tea Room.  Again, locally owned and no website.   A very limited menu with some yummy chef specials each day.  Their signature item is tiny little plum muffins with plum jam and they bring those to you when you are seated.   We both had their chicken salad and it was yummy.  MIL is like a little girl in these places she's never been and it delights me to no end to see her so happy.  We sat on the patio in the second picture and enjoyed the perfect fall temps. 

Two things happened yesterday which increased my awareness of how ready I am to finish the work in front of me and get to goal.   Knowing that the Hot 100 Challenge was beginning today, I could have taken the opportunity to indulge yesterday.  The Wild Plum Tea Room is also known for their homemade desserts, but when the tray came around, I wasn't even interested.  Then last evening following choir practice, we had our quarterly birthday celebration.  Can't be so noble as to say I wasn't interested in that cake, but Mr. B came to the rescue and rather forcefully ushered me out of the room as I looked longingly back at the cake knowing it was my last opportunity until after December 31.  After I got home, I momentarily thought, "better eat, it's your last chance."  But I didn't.   I'm ready, motivated and excited.  

I'm also a realist.   My first MAJOR temptation will come tonight.   Our annual choir retreat is this weekend and quite frankly, it's said that we do this to get started learning our Christmas music, but the truth is, it's nothing but a food fest.  I'm getting a slight reprieve this year because tonight is the only rehearsal we are able to attend and we are just driving up to Gatlinburg for the evening.  Normally, it would be tonight through Saturday morning.  I am happy that it comes so early in the challenge - I am so pumped that I believe I'll make it through with flying colors.  Can't say I won't be tempted, but I feel certain I'll stay away from the food.

We will be in Nashville on Saturday for Mr. B to attend a mandatory orientation meeting regarding his teaching assignment next spring in Prague.  My sister lives just outside of Nashville and that gives me an opportunity to spend a few hours with her.  After that, we plan a shopping excursion to Trader Joe's.  I've expressed true envy to those of you who have easy access to a Trader Joe's.  My first experience was visiting the one in Santa Fe, NM a few years ago. After that, I was hooked, but the closest one to me until recently has been Atlanta, over 250 miles away.  The one is Nashville is fairly new and this is my first visit.  For anyone who shops there frequently, let me know of any must buy items.  We will have a cooler, so tell me some fun things to get while I'm there. 

Well, I'm off to sing Christmas music.  I'm having a little problem with that since the temperature today was 95.   I'll leave you with one more picture from Carver's.


  1. I love restaurants like that. I call them "Ladies who lunch places." I envy the fresh apples! Last night I had pretzels while watching TV. I know, that doesn't sound so bad. But it was a very intentional pre-cheat since today I am back off refined carbs. Pretzels are white flour all the way! Not to mention I snacked on them when I was not hungry. I have really been thinking about this challenge today. Now my test will be when I am traveling for the next three days. Not the best week to kick things off.

    Have fun in Nashville!

  2. Last weekend, we went to Apple Hill, a small community of apple farmers that have really commercialized on the "wholesome-ness" of the family farm. It's a lot of fun.

    Avoiding temptation is hard. This verse gets me through:

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:13

  3. Congratulations on being strong. I've told myself, more than once to eat up while I can.

    Trader Joe's is great, but be forewarned, the parking lot can be a nightmare. I hope it isn't while you're there.

  4. I bought a bunch of honey crisps earlier this week, but I still want to come to Carvers. And I'm especially envious of the sweet potatoes--love 'em. Good luck at the rehearsal tonight--I think you'll do just fine.

  5. Looks like a gorgeous place and yes, the tea place looks like a women's place, but hey, I'm sure some men like it too! :) Beautiful location! Oh and now that peaches are officially gone :( I'm lighting up my appetite for apples! :D Oh yah! Ate one today...ummmm.
    The 100 Day challenge helped me today too.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful day with your MIL, Sharon!

    I can hear the strength and enthusiasm in your words. I know you'll do great with this challenge!

  7. I'd love to go to Carvers. Looks like my kind of place. I actually bought a box of Mutsu apples today. They are soooo good. Nothing like fresh apples. Enjoy your trip to Trader Joes. I really like their raw cashews and brazil nuts. Very reasonable prices. But, then again I haven't found anything that I don't like in that place. I don't know if you like Whole Foods or not, but they have one right down the street from Trader Joes on Warfield Dr. Great store too. Two of my favorite places to go. Green Hills is such a nice place.

  8. It sounds like that was a lovely day! Oddly, as I read it, it reminded me of a mystery book setting--the cozies, Agatha Christie type. I have read wat too many mysteries, perhaps... chuckle.

    Wahoo, Hot 100! We're gonna burn this thing!


  9. We have a place here called Apple Hill. Some commercial, and some just apple farms. But I do love to go up there in the fall and get some really great apples. And maybe a little apple pie...

  10. I LOVE Honey Crisps apples, too!! Nothing like them. I honestly can not eat apples any more except in apple season. Once you taste that semi-sweet/tart flavor with all that juice and crunch-well the other "store" apples do not hold a candle.

    Excellent work toward your 100 goals.

  11. Hi Sharon - Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! Glad to meet another Hot 100 participant - we'll all be urging each other on.

    One of my favorite things about fall is going to orchards - the smells, sites, colors...all of it. The little restaurant looks right up my alley, and congratulations for resisting temptation at so many points along the way. I see you are really doing nicely with weight loss...hope to say the same about myself before long!

    I'm so glad to have found your blog, and plan to review your archive and keep tabs on your progress!

  12. What a beautiful day with your MIL. You did so well all day with your choices too. You are ready to get this over with!

    I love Trader Joe's and I hope I am not too late with my list. Some of my favorites are, eggplant hummus, whole wheat pita, European fat free yogurt, Fage 0% Greek Yougrt, TJ's fat free creamer, fresh salsa, corn tortilla chips, canned corn, Harvest Grains Blend comes in a 1 pound bag, natural salted chunky peanutbutter, low sugar organic jams, TJ's lowfat Granola -mixed berry, Clif Z bars in chocolate brownie, Medjool Dates,Boxed Soups butternut squash,frozen Dr Praegers California veggie burgers,reduced fat shredded cheeses,lean ground beef,uncured applewood bacon,Orange Muscat Vinegar,sliced light provolone cheese, and organic persian cucumbers.

    That is all I can think of right now. I love the produce. Check out the frozen foods as they have lots that are healthy and plenty that are not!

    Have fun!

  13. What a great day! And 40# of sweet potatoes? Think we will be seeing a lot of those on your blog LOL!

    I really want to go apple picking this year.

    Good luck with the major temptation.

  14. I haven't had a decent apple in some months. You made me crave something healthy!


  15. Sharon,


    I also stopped by to tell you that I have tagged you as a recipient of the Versatile Blogger Award but you've already received it!

    Better luck next time!


  16. Hi, Sharon! Thanks so much for stopping by. I love the pictures here, so awesome! I read your comment on a different blog about "intuitive eating" and I just want to applaud you for questioning if it is "your thing" or not instead of buying into it. That's key for all of us on our journey's - doing what works for US, alone. There's so much info out there... sometimes it gets so hard to stay true to ourselves, while also being open to learn. Great job on all your succeses, I am inspired! Janelle

  17. I love, love, love places like this!! We're in Ohio right now at a quilter's retreat and I am loving it. This journey is unique to each of us, but support from others is the connecting thread. (a little quilt lingo)


  18. I got your name off the Hot 100 Challenge list. Good luck on your goals I hope you accomplish all of them. I hope you don't mind me adding you to my favorite blog list.

  19. Hey Sharon,
    I just found your blog and love it. Do you have an address for the tea room? I live in Huntsville, Al and my husband and I will be in Gatlingburg over fall break. Is the tea room close to there? Would love to lunch there while on our vacation!

  20. I'm hoping to come to E.TN for a visit (as opposed to barreling through on I-40) in the spring. I'll put this post in my travel bookmarks to remind me to visit that tea room!

    (Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me know I have a 'neighbor' out here. I don't find too many TN bloggers in the fitness world. :))

  21. Honey crisp? I haven't heard of that kind of apple, but it sounds like one that I'd like.

    I'd definitely go for that tea room, but not traveling to TN anytime soon.

    You have such a nice life......