This week’s Buzz Bites is mainly about apples. Do you prefer your apples in pie with ice cream on top, or in the ice cream itself? Do you like them in apple butter, or in cider? The best thing about apple season in Central Virginia is that, thanks to creative locals, there’s always another opportunity to find a new favorite apple variety — and a new favorite way of enjoying it.
Apples and hayridesGraves’ Mountain Lodge offers the first of three rain-or-shine weekends of apple-centric activities from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The 49th Apple Harvest Festival will continue Oct. 12 and 13 and again Oct. 19 and 20 at the Madison County getaway.
Apple butter will be cooked in kettles over open fires, and there will be plenty of apple butter and freshly picked apples to take home.
Each day, there will be bluegrass bands from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and clogging performances from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday’s schedule includes Mark Templeton & Pocket Change and Calico Cloggers; Sunday’s lineup features Dark Hollow and Mountain Heritage Cloggers. Plan ahead for Blue Ridge Thunder and Hi Horse Cloggers on Oct. 12, Flatland Bluegrass Band and Skyline Country Cloggers on Oct. 13, Route 33 Bluegrass and Cardinal Cloggers on Oct. 19 and Clearcut and Elite Revolution on Oct. 20.
There will be hayrides, horseback riding, a hay maze and more than 70 arts and crafts vendors.
Apple options include apple butter doughnuts, apple slices with caramel sauce, apple pies, funnel cakes and even apple cinnamon ice cream. If you’re planning on having lunch in the pavilion while you’re there, the menu will include Brunswick stew, cornbread, apple butter, applesauce, apple cider, pork barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs and, of course, apple pie.
Admission and parking are free, and if your best dog buddy loves people and behaves well on a leash, it’s fine to bring him or her along. Get all the details at gravesmountain.com.
Apple butter and pumpkinsIn Nelson County, apple fans can head to Silver Creek & Seaman’s Orchard in Tyro for the Apple Butter Makin’ Festival from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The fragrance of apple butter cooking will be one of many favorite fall sensations to enjoy; look for the corn maze, and don’t forget to pick your own pumpkins before you head home.
There will be children’s activities, food vendors, live music and crafts to browse. For information, visit silvercreekseamansorchards.com or dial (434) 277-5824.
Cider and a movieIf you prefer your apples by the bottle or glass, linger in Nelson County and head to Nellysford for Bold Rock Hard Cider’s Cider Cinema event, which begins at 6 p.m. Saturday.
A Harry Potter film will be screened in the main meadow on a 30-foot screen. Learn more about the free event at boldrock.com; call (434) 361-1030 for details.
Apples next weekend, tooIf you’d like to take a turn stirring apple butter, mark your calendars for Montebello Fire and Rescue’s Apple Butter Making event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 12. There will be plenty of bluegrass music and a craft fair, too. For details, call (540) 377-2145.
And Blanc Creatives, tooFood fans can join Blanc Creatives and award-winning co-executive chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan of Maydan, a Washington, D.C.-area James Beard Semifinalist, at 4:30 p.m. Sunday for an evening of open-fire cooking at Estouteville Farm in Esmont.
Tickets are $210 and can be purchased through eventbrite.com/e/blanc-creatives-presents-maydan-at estouteville-farm-tickets. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the Charlottesville-based Blanc Creatives and its handmade cookware line.