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Autumn Harvest in the North Georgia Mountains

Fall has its own harvest and rituals. One of mine is to enjoy the apple crop. So I got in the car and drove past Clayton to my favorite farm stand, Osage Farms. Before I looked for produce, I enjoyed a half rack of ribs from Tomlin's BBQ; sorry, no photos, I was too hungry.

With my hunger sated, it was time to get down to business. I surveyed the huge selection of apples and was about to select two small bags. Then I saw this box of assorted apples for only $12. Assorted apples are exactly what you want for a variety of baking needs---a mix of varieties gives the best flavor. I also picked up some eggplant, peppers, and okra.

My next stop was the drug store in Clayton for a root beer float. Their soda fountain is a reminder of a simpler time.

My next stop was Blue Ridge Honey Company. They sell an impressive array of beekeeping equipment as well as maintaining a large honey processing operation. They also stock beeswax; you could make one heck of a candle with some of the slabs of beeswax they carry. I bought three types of honey: mountain wildflower and sandalwood, both local, and wildflower, a regional honey.

I next drove to Clarkesville and stopped at Java Joe's for a cappuccino. It's a nice, restful spot with comfy d├ęcor and nice people.

I then headed out for a drive around the countryside. I stumbled upon Holland Produce. They operate what appears to be a substantial wholesale operation as well as retail. I found some items I needed (ginger, apple cider, grits) and one I didn't realize that I needed in the form of handmade molasses.

After my drive, I headed back to Clarkesville to eat dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Habersham Harvest. I started with two small plates. The eggplant was prepared in a way that never would have occurred to me: brie, pecans, mustard sauce. It worked extremely well; the mustard gave a good contrast to the mild flavor of the eggplant. The skillet cornbread had a superb crust. For my main dish, my server recommended the pasta with egg. The pasta was al dente. The egg was soft and its texture melded very well with the pasta. It was delicious and quite satisfying. Nonetheless, I couldn't pass up this pecan pie with local honey.

After dinner, I drove home as the sun set. Georgia has an amazing variety of food to offer and a lot of nice people, too.

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