Grave’s Mountain Apple Festival

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Apple Festival,Family,Travel,Virginia


“Lost time is never found again.”
~Benjamin Franklin~


“Nestled deep in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near the end of the road in Syria, Virginia”, is a wonderful place that Alyssa and I found eleven years ago. After moving to Virginia, we went on day adventures in order to have priceless carefree timelessness and this was one of the first places we visited.

Map showing Syria, Virginia

The drive through the countryside is absolutely beautiful especially since the leaves are ablaze with the colors of Autumn. When I’m in such beautiful surroundings, I love to listen to the peaceful sounds and take lots of photographs. We also leave everything behind us which helps the conversation to flow freely.

During our first visit to Grave’s Mountain Apple Festival in 2000, we fell in love with everything especially the apple sauce and apple butter. That was the beginning of our obsession. Each year we enjoy Brunswick stew, cornbread, apple sauce and apple butter in front of the big fireplace.

We eat lunch in the covered picnic pavilion and sit so that we can see the rushing river just a few feet away.

mountain river

mountain river

We also watch the other people who are milling around or eating outside. Dogs wearing bandanas and children wearing orange tutus find the experience enjoyable too.

lots of people

In the distance, we also could see the pumpkin patch and more colorful foliage.

pumpkin patch

The Country Poor Bluegrass band twanged as we enjoyed the delicious food and cool weather. Yes, that is the name of the band and they are very, very bluegrass. But the important thing about the group is that they know how to pick out the right color shirt for their performances.

Country Poor Bluegrass band

Oh, please! You know that red is your favorite color and you love bluegrass.

Is it possible to brainwash people by using blog posts?

Anyway, we enjoyed the fresh apple sauce…

apple sauce

And the magnificent apple butter which is rich and thick and so very smooth..

apple butter

When you can’t decide which you like the best, there is only one thing to do – You eat the apple sauce and apple butter at the same time!

apple sauce and apple butter

I’m sure you’re wondering how they make that delectable apple butter.

Let’s see if I can explain it to you…

You git a big ole black pot and startcha a wood fire goin’ under the pot. You gotta surround the pot with cinder blocks to hold stuff and to keep the wind from blowin’ the fire too much. It also keeps the not so smart people from walkin’ in the fire.

cooking apple butter

You gotta keep stirrin’ the secret apple butter recipe with a big ole’ paddle while someone else keeps the wood blazin’ hot with a metal contraption that looks kinda like a golf club. The secret is to have a bunch of men who don’t have anything better to do, gather around the big ole’ black pot and stir the apple butter for hours while they talk about cows, hay, trucks and pretty women.

The men really don’t mind doin’ it because it makes the women folk quite happy. They learned a very valuable lesson a long time ago. If Mama ain’t happy, then do somethin’ to git her happy or life is just gonna be miserable.

keeping the fire going

As long as the men keep the pot stirred, the women folk don’t really care what they talk about around the fire.

big black pot of apple butter

Actually, the men and women folk don’t bother each other until the apple butter is canned, the people are gone and the sun sets behind the mountains. That’s when they do what all tired country folk do…they hit the hay.

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stéfan November 2, 2011 at 5:27 am

What a great little day-trip – sounds like a splendid time with your daughter. That apple butter and applesauce looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.


2 Pam at Antique or Not November 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Yum…apple butter. One of my favorites. And I love using applesauce as a substitute for vegetable oil in my baking. It's so much healthier!



3 Paula November 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I ask about the festival, you write a great post and I focus on the nail polish!!!!


4 ArtMuseDog and Carol November 2, 2011 at 5:36 pm

OOOOOOOOh ~l want to go there ~ Am coming south for Xmas ~ How far are you from Norfolk Va? LOL ~ Awesome photos, Red ~ ^_^


5 A Gracious Home November 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Your pictures are great. I loved the story. I couldn't focus on the apple butter because my focus was on the beautiful nails.


6 katlupe November 7, 2011 at 11:45 am

I definitely LOVE bluegrass!! You don't have to brainwash me. Apples being abundant in my state, applesauce, apple butter, cider, apple pie and apple desserts are the norm around here too. Looks like a fun day with your daughter!


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