Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Apple A Day -

I heard last week that the "apple a day" saying is true, if you eat them at the right time of day and choose your variety according to your needs. But then the commentator said you have to eat three to four a day. That's a lot of apples.

Anyway, the Portland Press Herald (Wednesday, September 8) had a whole article on the various kinds of apples available, and a little information on each one as to use, taste, and availability. I looked for "pumpkin sweets"which was a yellow apple my Dad used to get for us in Lebanon, Maine at a very old orchard, run by a very old man. (I was very young, so he could have been 50, of course.) There were about 40 apple varieties described, several I never heard of. What was interesting about this article - the information as to where each variety can be found (by orchard, not super market) and recommendations about use.

I don't cook anymore, but I make a lot of apple sauce. I buy a half bushel, wash, quarter, core and cook. Then comes the tedious part of putting them through the Foley Food Mill. I always end up with bursitis. The price for the tasty treat I freeze in little half-cup portions and relish daily. It gets to be a habit: a little apple sauce with my daily dose of supplements.

For this annual ritual I use nothing but Macs. I went to the orchard a couple of years ago and the owner and his wife talked me into a crate of Macouns. Big mistake. For eating I prefer the hard sweet Red Delicious, Galas and Paula Reds. In this article there is a Winter Banana. I like bananas, but I want my apples to taste like apples, not bananas. The Snow Apple is listed as an heirloom apple, as is the Wealthy, Nodhead and Newtown Pippin. Now that Pippin is said to be have the favorite apple of both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Obviously, I cannot go into all 40 varieties without boring you, but if it interests you, contact the Press Herald and see if they still have the article on line.

The nice thing about apples is they keep in giving. Sauce, Pie, Cider, Jelly, Apple Butter. No wonder God put that tree in His Garden. No wonder the first couple were tempted by it. Not quite fair on God's part to put such an attractive fruit within their reach and tell them not to touch it. But then, they were His first kids so what did He know about parenting. Those first kids are always an experiment.


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