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The smell of thousands of apples is enough to make the flintiest Scrooge Thankful!

I am a bit worn out with all the non-holiday drama. While I am thrilled that people are making statements that their company will not force employees to work on Thanksgiving Day nor stuff Christmas down your throats till after Thanksgiving nor make their employees work on Black Friday OR have to explain why they have red coffee cups…I find myself dazed and bewildered.
You see, I have ALWAYS SIMPLY ENJOYED THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS BECAUSE IT’S FUN AND SPARKLY AND THERE IS A TON OF FOOD AND FUN. Perhaps I am too simple.
This year we went overboard. Like, you have heard of a “groaning table”, the bakery looks like I am planning to feed 10,000 people. That would be super fun, think of how many tablecloths that would be!!! The table would be miles long!! We should DO THIS!
The coveted apples have been retrieved from the prestigious /https://www.albemarleciderworks.com/. It is tradition. We have available for you Stayman, Winesap Stayman, Pippin, Pink Pearlmain and Gold Rush. There are fascinating descriptions below. $2.75 a lb. The accompanying cheese selection this year is Oregonzola /http://www.roguecreamery.com/store/content/80/Sustainability/  , Ashe County Sharp Cheddar http://www.ashecountycheese.com/ and Roth Gran Queso http://www.rothcheese.com/our-story/. We decided to focus on exquisite American cheeses.
We have a physical drop/location for our Wilmington friends. Epic Food Company http://www.epicfoodco.com/ will be hosting our Thanksgiving offerings. You will pick up and pay at Epic and there will also be a selection of pound cakes, jam bars, and holiday cookies available for pickup that week. Please pre-order for cakes and pies and specify the Epic location. All items will be delivered to Epic by 10 a.m. Wednesday a.m. They close at 3 p.m. that day.
Gentle reminder-all holiday shipping must ship out that Monday-23rd.
Sister’s Organic also has some special Thanksgiving offerings this year as well :https://www.facebook.com/SistersOrganic/

 (We are getting 8 organic holiday hams tomorrow afternoon, around 5.5 pounds a piece.. Get them while you can! They will come in frozen, and we are only getting 8! $9/ per lb. Call us at the store if you want to reserve yours and make a deposit on them. We are also taking pre-orders for pies from Sugar Island Bakery for Thanksgiving. The options will be Pecan Pie $22 (fresh, local pecans), or pumpkin pie $18. They are both made with organic ingredients. We will be taking $10 deposits on those and you can pay the balance when you come pick them up. We won’t be getting any extra so in order to secure your pie, please call or email us to set that up.)Thanks,
Elly @ Sisters
330 N New River Dr
Surf City, NC 28445
There you have it!!! Holiday food excess at it’s finest! Local, local, local!!! Last but not least, this year we made up bundles of 12 Days till Christmas book stacks! Unwrap a book a day on the Christmas countdown and snuggle up and read about imagination and fun and hope and love and cookies!!!
Stayman Winesap

STAYMAN WINESAP was a seedling of Winesap raised in 1866 by Dr. J. Stayman of Leavenworth, Kansas, and was introduced in 1895 by Stark Bros. In Virginia, it is often called just Stayman, and at one time, was a major commercial dessert variety in the state, especially in the Valley. Medium to large in size, the greenish-yellow skin of the fruit is flushed a dull-red with darker red stripes. The surface is covered with a light russet, and often there is heavy russet in the stem cavity. The skin is subject to cracking from possible environmental conditions, and this has discouraged commercial production. The white flesh is tinged a greenish-yellow and is firm, tender, and fine-textured. The subacid flavor is distinctive because of its tart and vinous qualities. Stayman is a triploid that requires a pollinator and is a poor pollinator for other varieties. Because it will bloom slightly later than many other varieties, it is suitable for frost prone areas. There are 170-175 days from full bloom to maturity. The moderately vigorous tree bears early and heavily, and the growth is straggly with long shoots that have few lenticels. Sometimes, there is a characteristic brownish and roughened “rust” at the base of vigorous shoots. The medium green leaves are average size, broadly oval, with coarse sharp serrations. Interestingly, one-year-old trees grow in the nursery in a slanting direction. Stayman will scald in storage, but the flesh quality will remain high for a long period, and in Virginia, it ripens the first week in October.

Winesap

WINESAP is also named American Wine Sop, Banana, Hendrick’s Sweet, Holland’s Red Winter, Pot Pie Apple, Potpie, Red Sweet Wine Sop, Royal Red of Kentucky, Texan Red, Winter Winesap and Refugee. There are dozens of strains, including the Virginia Winesap, a darker sport, found at the Garland Orchards in Troutville, Virginia, in 1922, and marketed by Stark Brothers. Winesap was first described as a cider fruit by Dr. James Mease in Philadelphia in 1804, and in 1817, William Coxe illustrated and described it in A View of the Cultivation of Fruit Trees. It was known during the colonial period in Virginia, and Coxe wrote of it as popular for cider making in New Jersey, but there is no documentation at this time of its place of origin. Small to medium in size and round to oblong in shape, the skin is a deep-red or maroon in color with the yellow background showing on the shaded side. Indistinct flushes and stripes of a darker red, and sometimes a netting of russet, overlay the lighter red. The yellow flesh is sweet, crisp, and aromatic, with a vinous flavor. The seeds are brown, short and ovate in shape. Small, folded and oval in shape, the leaves are a medium to round and dull. The new growth bark is a dark-red with few lenticels. A dependable bearer, it produces heavy crops annually and is suitable for cooking, dessert and cider making. The blossoms of the Winesap are pink instead of the white of most varieties. An exceptional keeper, it ripens in Virginia in October.

Eating apples raw should be an aesthetic adventure, from the unforgettable sweet smell of the rind to the crunch or crack as you take your first bite. Some of these apples need to be eaten almost as soon as they are picked, as they can mellow rapidly in storage.  Others reach peak flavor only after a period of storage, during which some of the starches convert to sugar, and flavors become more concentrated. Treat yourself this summer and fall to the taste of real apples: no refrigerator scent, no waxy rind, no bland sameness

Albemarle Pippin

ALBEMARLE PIPPIN, the most famous of Virginia apples, originated in 1700 near the village of Newtown on Long Island, New York.

Col. Thomas Walker of Castle Hill brought scions of the variety back to Albemarle County as he returned from service under General Washington at the battle of Brandywine in 1777. It was grown widely in Virginia by the end of the18th century by agriculturists, including George Washington, John Hartwell Cocke, and Thomas Jefferson.

The crisp, juicy, firm flesh and very distinctive taste, along with its excellent keeping qualities, made the Pippin the most prized of American dessert apples from the early 18th century. It grows especially well in the Virginia Piedmont and attracted great notoriety when Andrew Stevenson, the American minister to St. James, presented the young Victoria with a gift basket of the apples in 1838 from his wife’s Albemarle County home, Enniscorthy. “Never did a barrel of apples obtain so much reputation for the fruits of our country,” Sallie Coles Stevenson reported.

As a gesture of appreciation, Parliament permitted the Virginia apple to enter Britain duty-free, and the Albemarle Pippin became an important export, commanding premium prices in the English market. After World War I, Parliament levied duties again on non-Commonwealth fruit, and the Pippin’s market waned.

It is difficult to find today, but when well-grown, remains one of the world’s finest apples. Unfortunately, the Pippin is not easy to grow, and as its export market shrank, and food distribution came to be dominated by large chains, it was superseded by easier to manage crops such as the now ubiquitous Delicious varieties. For the connoisseur who prizes a rich, complex flavor and firm, juicy texture, this apple has is all,

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Our Christmas Gift to You!!

Dear faithful blog reader and website followers-our Christmas gift to you!  Thursday or Friday, please mention your subscription to the blog, website, Facebook or Twitter and take 50 percent off ONE of our beloved and coveted books, thcotchkes or food stuffs.  This does not extend to baked goods but DOES include all other items on the floor (yes, EVEN the items in the glass case!)  (One sale per household.)

We will also have a lovely selection of teacher gifts ready to go tomorrow morning that you may phone in to have delivered to North Topsail Elementary tomorrow afternoon or Friday a.m. or simply to pick up on your way! 910.254.1110

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Pass the Stuffing and Sequins!

Dear Surf City,

We are thrilled to be celebrating Thanksgiving #2 with Topsail Island! To show our Thankfulness, we will be doing $1 coffee on Mondays! Thank you for another wonderful year and a rip-roaring fall so far!

All shipping orders must be in by the order deadline. Orders must be shipped the Monday of Thanksgiving week and will go 2nd Day air for anything outside of NC.

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Below is our Thanksgiving menu. You know the drill, PLEASE. ORDER. AHEAD. I beg you!! We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Friday the 28th but we will be participating in two holiday markets on the Island this year. Details below! We will be open Saturday for Small Business Saturday and back to our normal hours Sunday and Monday.

This year, look for our Turkey table in the shop! It will have some of the baking supplies to help you with your own special meals, great recipes for sides, fruitcakes, Holiday nuts and our own stuffing blend and holiday jams!

Cakes

Country Coconut ~ $28

Caramel ~ $30

Old Fashioned Chocolate ~ $30

Hummingbird ~ $30

Pies

Pumpkin ~ $14

Classic Apple ~ $18

Sour Cherry ~ $18

NC Pecan ~ $17

Key Lime ~ $14

Small Things

Cranberry Jam Bars ~ $2 ea/ $11 per 1/2 dozen

Ginger Chews ~ $1.65 ea/ $8 per 1/2 dozen

Gingerbread ~ $6

Cranberry Orange Pound Cake ~ $6

Pumpkin Whoopies-$3.00

Cornbread ~ $6

Challah Bread ~ Braid – $5.50 or Loaf – $4.50

Need to Know Info

The cut off date for Thanksgiving orders is Sunday (Nov. 16).

EVERYTHING is made fresh that Wednesday.  Orders will NOT be ready before the given pick-up time.  Please do not call to check on your order the day of.

http://topsailholiday.weebly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/events/557985360969833/

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30 Days of Joy Hath September!

I have figured out the whole beach-instafriendship equation! It’s like summer camp for grown ups!! We are the counselors and each week we have new campers that we are instantly enamored with and form friendships with, so that we are excited to see them the next year! Some campers this year were returning campers, others were new and some came to camp for several weeks! Parting isn’t quite so hard though-because we ship so nobody has to go without!

(And no, there is NO reason to compare the classic Parent Trap with that mess Disney tried to recreate years later. Blech.)

Of course it is time to change the hours and update the menu to reflect what’s coming into season down here!  Due to threats and cajoling by the locals, we will be sticking to a 5 day schedule AND opening earlier.

New from Nye’s this month-Blackberry Cobbler and Latte! The Latte ice cream sandwich is pure genius.

Speaking of lattes…Shawn, Logan and Tanis will be attending latte school this month so soon they will be slinging chai, espresso and dairy in specific 27 second intervals. We are going to be using all organic coffees from our beloved Java Estate and making our own hot chocolate blend that will make you grin!

Again, the Muscadine Festival is coming up and we will be in attendance (http://www.muscadineharvestfestival.com/).

That Sunday, the 28th, we will be having another Logan Smith Art Show! It’s been three years so Mr. Smith has had time to build up a fair collection of intriguing pieces. This show will be combined with cider, punch, wine and samples of our holiday fare! We look forward to seeing you. An email and mailer will go out with the specific times on that day.

This month we will also be taking our annual apple trek and taking orders once again. The list will be at the bakery of what apples are available and when you will be able to expect them.

It really was a spastic and fantastic summer and we thank you all for indulging your sweet tooth, embracing you inner bread loving self and coming to interact with the ever-amazing talents of the Tanis-Shawn counter show. NEVER A DULL MOMENT.

September Hours (NOTE-We will be closed from Sunday, September 7-Wednesday the 10.)

Thur-Fri 9-4

Saturday 10-4

Sun 10-4

Mon-9-3

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Tickle your Turkey! (WE ARE BOOKED! NO MORE ORDERS TILL 11/16. Sorry!)

I really can’t believe it’s November! Well, it’s time to roll out the Thanksgiving menu! I do love you all and don’t want you to look like our poor gal here-working her fingers to the bone so I will say it again because nobody believed me last year and I had to turn people down but YOU HAVE TO ORDER AHEAD! Once the fruits are peeled and the crusts rolled out that’s all she wrote! I still have to head home and make Thanksgiving dinner for my people!  This year the options are:

Apple Pie $17

 Cherry Pie $17.00 (cherry prices went up due to a horrible loss in Michigan!)

Caramel Apple Walnut $18.00

Rhubarb $15.00

Pumpkin-$14.00

Sweet Potato-$14.00

Pecan-$18.00

Bourbon Pecan $18.00

Chocolate Pecan-$18.00

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Crust-$24.00

Orange Cheesecake with Cranberry Compote and Snickerdoodle Crust-$24.00

Gingerbread-$5.75 a loaf

Triple Chocolate Caramel Cake-$33.00

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting-$30.00

We also have lovely Thanksgiving cards and some wonderful jams to go with your holiday breads and leftover sandwiches!  Don’t forget to buy some bulk coffee while you are in to make sure you have plenty on hand while your company is here!

See how much easier it will be if Sugar does the baking for you? I have much to be Thankful for this year and will share a pretty incredible story with you all the week of Thanksgiving!

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What’s Happening this Week!

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!!!  I was sad when I realized I do not have any Groundhog greeting cards! What kind of retailer am I???  My fabulous friend Guy Pushee took some more photos of things in my shop…the super-tinkling bell courtesy of my mother and an apple-pear pie since one of my friends and business associates is a PEAR ADDICT (ahem.)  We have a few events coming up for this week-Stephanie Ellis will be here again on Friday for the CHAIR MASSAGE! She is magic.  Then-save the date-there’s a crazy cool show at the Wicked gallery that we are doing all sorts of funky Elvis type desserts for!

Lots of birthday cakes this week-enough that I actually have not had time to stop to take pics before they go out the door! I ‘ve got several coming up for Thursday so I will try my darndest to take some pics!  Some of the woes of being a one man show (believe me there are very, very few woes!) I sometimes lag behind on the technology end! However, yesterday it was-hmmm technology-taxes? technology-taxes? so sadly taxes won. 

Wrapping it up with a joke that actually happened.  My new art director (S.A.W.) came in with her sibling today and at one point she was describing someone as a cross between a babboon and a donkey. Whaddya call that? A “bab-ass.” 

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=171968582838245

New Leaf Yoga and Massage Therapy Relax and renew with chair massage on Friday 1:00 – 4:00 at downtown Wilmington’s only independent cozy bookstore/cafe/yummy backery! First 5 minutes free with any cafe purchase. $1/min. Stephanie Ellis, LMBT 7685