“Health to thee, good apple-tree,
Well to bear, pocket-fulls, hat-fulls,
Last Saturday night, Mr Chiots and I went wassailing. It was the real wassailing, at a local orchard, with a big fire, lots of cider, both hard and sweet, musical instruments, candles, and toast soaked in cider.
We gathered around the oldest tree in the orchard and sang the wassailing song, cider soaked toast was hung in it’s branches, then cider was poured around the base of the tree to ensure a prosperous year filled with load of apples.
It was a fun event, something out of the ordinary. We were especially intrigued because we’d seen Hugh talk about it on The River Cottage Series shows we watched last month.
John Bunker, the Maine apple guy who’s orchard the celebration was at, will hopefully be a guest on the Cultivate Simple Podcast soon. We talked about our experience wassailing on this past week’s episode if you’d like to hear a little more about it.
After wassailing in the orchard, we all went inside for a potluck dinner and lots of conversation. Mr Chiots and I enjoy attending events like this. There’s nothing better than meeting new people and enjoying new experiences. No doubt there will be many more interesting community events in our future.
What’s the best event you attended last year?Filed under Festivals, Going Local | Comments (9)
Mr Chiots and I have a fall tradition; to kick off the fall season, we always attend the Algonquin Mill Festival with some friends. It’s an old timey festival featuring lots of steam engines, the main one being a big grain mill which grinds flour that you can buy at the festival. They also use this flour in the pancakes that a local club makes and sells. We always kick off our time with a big plate of hotcakes, which we smother in homemade maple syrup that we take in a jar.
After a hearty breakfast we spend taking in all the sights: the old saw mill cutting logs, antique farm and garden equipment, local artisans are doing everything from chair caning to wool rug hooking. I set up a slide show so you could see all the sights. To view in full screen click on the icon in the top left hand corner, click the same icon to exit full screen mode.
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Do you have any great fall festivals in your area? or any thing you do to kick off the season?Filed under Festivals, Miscellaneous | Comments (17)
Mr Chiot’s and I are huge fans of little local festivals. We really prefer the ones of historic origin like the Algonquin Mill Festival. Each year we kick off our Christmas season with a day at Christmas in Zoar. It’s such a fun event.
Start your holiday season with a visit to Zoar Village during Christmas in Zoar December 6, and 7, 2008. The historic village recreates many of the Christmas customs of the German Separatists who settled in Zoar in 1817, and includes the Krist Kind, who will distribute candy and sweets to good boys and girls.
The aroma of ginger cookies will waft from the Zoar Bakery, where cider will be served along with the cookies, and German Stollen and Bread will be available to take home, all made from Zoar recipes.
Saturday at 5 p.m. a Christmas Concert will be presented in the Zoar United Church of Christ, followed by a candlelight procession to the Zoar Garden and the Lighting of the Christ Tree.
Hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission, good for both days of the festival, is $6 for adults and children under the age of 12 are free. All proceeds from this event are used to preserve historic Zoar Village. www.zca.org.
So if any of my local readers are looking for a great way to kick off their holiday season head down to Zoar for the festival. My only piece of advice is to skip the tree lighting (trust me it’s not what you think!).
Anyone else have any great local Christmas festivals of activities you like to take part in?
Update: here’s my post about our trip this year: Christmas in Zoar Holiday DecorFiled under Festivals | Comments (5)
On Sunday I went back to the Algonquin Mill Festival with Mr Chiots and a some friends.
On Sunday all the vintage cars are there. It’s always fun to see the old cars, I never see any old MINI’s though (Mr Chiot’s and I are saving up to buy one).
They also have little antique booths with some interesting things. It’s always hard to leave without buying something old. (I wonder what people will sell from now in 100 years? i-pods????)
Every year there’s a dulcimer group there. It’s very interesting music. Mr Chiot’s and I collect Christmas music, so I got a CD for our collection. It will be perfect for relaxing with some hot cocoa to the light of the Christmas tree.
One thing I always buy at the festival is some sorghum syrup. My grandpa always tells stories of eating sorghum on biscuits. I use it in place of corn syrup in my pecan pies, you just can’t beat that flavor. They have a horse that is actually pressing the sorghum and they cook it down in big kettles over the fire.
On Sunday we once again ate pancakes (and I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo). They are that delicious. I’m sure all the other food is good, they have beans & cornbread, chili, sauerkraut, and a few of the more typical fair foods. We’ve never made it past the pancakes though. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make rag rugs like this. HM, perhaps that will be a good winter hobby.
The sights and sounds of this little festival are just great. I love going back each and every year.
I’ve never bought any of the flour that they grind at the mill until this year, I decided to buy some blue cornmeal.
I’m trying to decide what to make with it, blue cornbread perhaps. Any suggestions?
This weekend I attending the Algonquin Mill Festival, twice. On Friday I went with my parents, my sister and my 2 nieces and nephew, and on Sunday I want with Mr Chiots and some friends.
I had a great time both times, it’s definitely different when you go with kids. The girls love the Little House on the Prairie books so they kept saying, “Oh that’s just like Laura’s”. They had a great time seeing all the old stuff.
There were also thingsfor our little nephew to enjoy. He was fascinated by all the steam engines and the model trains. He’s also a big fan of tractors, and there were a bunch of those there as well.
We had some delicious pancakes made with flour ground at the mill – yum yum. We also enjoyed some ice cream churned by a steam engine, my dad can’t pass up ice cream any way it’s made.
The highlight of the kids day was the pony rides. They loved the ponies, by the end of the ride they knew the names of all the ponies.
I think the ponies liked having their pictures taken. This one, named Shorty, kept wanting to lick or eat my camera.
All-in-all we had a great day (both days). The kids were tired when we got back to my house, it looks like grandpa was pretty tired as well.
Anyone else like little festivals?Filed under Festivals, Going Local | Comments (2)