Sunday, July 29, 2007


Ron, Neena, Judy, and I took a “Road Trip” Friday with the intent on following most of the Appalachian Quilt Trial, but we ended up spending most of our time in Rutledge, Tennessee. We specifically spent most of our time at the annual Grainger County Tomato Festival, which is held inside and around the middle and high schools. The event began back in 1993 to promote Grainger County Tomatoes, which are heavenly on a bacon, tomato, and mayonnaise sandwich!

We first visited Ann and McDonald Crosby at Joppa Mountain Pottery. We just caught them before they left to set up at the festival in town, and reaped some savings. They do some beautiful work, but a lot are just uniquely weird and down right scary! Ann was once McDonald’s pottery student and he fell in love with how she handled the swirling clay, I guess, and married her. Also notice that McDonald is holding is cute little “three legged” dog! You sure couldn’t tell he was missing anything – ran around sniffing our heels the whole time!

Next, it was time to view the fruits of the labor of the local farmers! There were, of course, fresh tomatoes, peppers, corn, muscadines, cabbage, watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches, apples, and other fresh vegetables and fruit! There were pottery and art exhibits, food stands, and a horde of hot sweaty people roaming the grounds.

There were machines to roast ears of corn in the husk, to make cotton candy, or to whip up loads of homemade ice cream.

The pictures of quilts hung along the trail to show who sponsors the event and where special events and demonstrations were being held. That’s what you watch for along the way on the barns, restaurants, and local businesses.

One quilt grabbed our attention a Shine’s Country Cooking where we enjoyed chicken and catfish lunches, with Fried Green Tomatoes for an appetizer! We must have downed a gallon of tea between us. It was a very hot and sticky day!

I loved the little church we saw along the way, but the outhouse with the cross on the door just begged me to take its picture! Holy crap, Batman!

I included the tractor on the front porch and the miniature power engines for my buddy Bruno!

NOTE: Click on all shots for larger views!

It was a very good road trip and gave Ron and I a chance to relax before
the “hike from hell”…coming next to this blog!


Scott from Oregon said...

Man, I love a good tomato festival!

And I know y'all can grow some good ones out that away...

david mcmahon said...

My sort of sandwich!

BRUNO said...

THANKS, DUDE!!! And since your "promo" is on the pics, I'm saving them to folder!

Now THAT'S a lawn-tractor!(Goddess, take notice!)

And a "drive-up" location for refreshments---MY kind of home!

Many years ago, I used to have one of those McCormick utility motors, like the one next to the corn-sheller. Used to take it apart, and reassemble it, just for the hell of it! I'll bet it didn't have 20 moving parts in, or on it, if it had that many! I ended up trading it to a local collector, before I wore the threads off the bolts in it! Got an OLD, chain-drive tiller in exchange---matter of fact, I still have it! Hmm---this gives me an "idea for the week"....!

Tish said...

Wish I could have made it to the festival! I love stuff like that, and I would have loved to pick up some Grainger County tomatoes! One of my brothers lives in Rutledge. I'll probably see him next weekend, so maybe I can talk him into bringing tomatoes!

Glad you had a good time!

Fathairybastard said...

Cool! I love the pottery. Love these old timy places. We've got 'em in Texas, but they're a bit spread out. lots of old German towns, spread out in the hill country west of Austin. Looks like a fun time. It'd be hard not to end up with a trunk load of pots after I made that trip.

Speakin' of trunk loads, you should see wat I've got. See ya about dinner time dude.

Fathairybastard said...

Meanin' about 5:30pm. leaving here about 7AM.

Mushy said...

Yeah, just talked to you on the cell...waiting patiently by mowing the yard!

Tish - sorry to miss both the blogfest and blogathon, but circumstances dictated otherwise. See ya soon.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Aw Mushy, you lead the sweetest life! I've never had green fried tomatoes (English spelling).. though I did see the movie once, does that count??

Mushy said...

Sorry Carol, you have to have tasted one! A cornmeal, salt, pepper mixed in milk and egg, with a sprinkle of sugar! Mmmmmm.

Rachelle said...

Tomatoes.... mmmmmm....
*eyes glaze over*
Nothing better than a homegrown beefsteak tomatoe sandwich!