Last week the girls and I took a field trip outing to the north Georgia mountains. We had apple picking on our minds. You see, we were craving some homemade pie. And since I decided September is too early for the girls’ #1 request — yep, that would be pumpkin pie — apple was the next best choice. I had no idea views like this awaited us.

Pause a moment and take it in. You’ll thank me.

Doesn’t this view just whisper peace and serenity?

We ended up on what’s known as “Apple Alley” in Ellijay. Our farm of choice? R.J. Reece Orchards. Um … I pretty much picked this one because an online review mentioned their famous fried apple pies. They had me sold with the word “fried.” So after we indulged in a pie or two, we headed to the orchards.

Four girls on a mission. An apple picking they must go!
Four girls on a mission. An apple picking they must go!
We filled at least one of our bags with these. I had read they tasted yummy in pie.
We filled at least one of our bags with these. I had read they tasted yummy in pie.
This one did most of the picking.
This one did most of the picking.
While this one insisted on carrying a bag, no matter how heavy it got.
While this one insisted on carrying a bag, no matter how heavy it got.

Once we arrived home — you know, after I got lost in them there mountains and added at least 45 minutes to our trip — it was time to make pie!

First, we needed a pie crust. My go-to recipe being Martha Stewart’s pat brisee. A couple of my girls would eat an entire batch of it raw if I’d let them.

Her first knife-using experience. I let her help cut up butter with ... um, yeah ... this very dull butter knife.
Her first knife-using experience. I let her help cut up butter with … um, yeah … this very dull butter knife.
My main apple picker also ended up being my dough roller-outer.
My main apple picker also ended up being my dough roller-outer.

Next, we set to peeling those hand-picked apples of ours.

Little hands learning to use the vegetable peeler. She did one apple before turning the job over to Ted.
Little hands learning to use the vegetable peeler. She did one apple before turning the job over to Ted.

We then followed the Pioneer Woman’s Dreamy Apple Pie recipe.

Doesn't that already look so good?
Doesn’t that already look so good?
Bake, pie, bake!
Bake, pie, bake!

We ended up with this beauty. It tasted just as good as it looked!

Yum!
Yum!

In the end, we didn’t just have a great pie. We also got a fun trip to the beautiful mountains of north Georgia and some hands-on agricultural experience which left my girls thankful that most of the time we just buy our apples at Publix. After all, apple picking is hard work!

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Ashleigh Slater is the author of the books, Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard and Team Us: The Unifying Power of Grace, Commitment, and Cooperation in Marriage. She loves to combine the power of a good story with practical application to encourage and inspire readers.

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