Thursday, October 11, 2007

An Apple in October . . .

To appreciate the wild and sharp flavors
of these October fruits,
it is necessary
that you be breathing the sharp
October or November air.
What is sour in the
house a bracing walk makes sweet.

Some of these apples might be labeled,
“To be eaten in the wind.”
It takes a savage or wild taste to appreciate a wild
fruit. . . The era of the Wild Apple will soon be past.
It is a fruit which will
probably become extinct in New England.
I fear that he who walks over these
fields a century hence will not know
the pleasure of knocking off wild apples.
Ah, poor soul, there are many pleasures
which you will not know! . . . the end
of it all will be that we shall be compelled
to look for our apples in a barrel.

- Henry David Thoreau

Wild Malus sieversii apple in KazakhstanA wild apple.

What is better than a crisp, juicy apple? Yellow, red, even green, they are yummy . . . and good for you! You've all heard the old saying about eating apples and keeping away the doctors? Who doesn't think of apples when the cool air of autumn begins?

The blossoms are gorgeous and heady-smelling. The older knarled trunks are fascinating.
Apple tree in flower

Did you know . . .

  • That apples can be canned, juiced, and fermented to produce apple juice, cider, vinegar, and pectin?
  • That they are an important ingredient in many winter desserts? apple pie, apple crumble, apple crisp and apple cake.
  • They can be eaten fresh, baked, stewed, dried, or re-constituted for later use.
  • They can be made into apple sauce or apple butter or apple jelly.
  • They can be cooked with meat.
  • They can be made into treats such as toffee apples, candy apples, or caramel apples.
  • Jews eat them with honey.

Did you know . . .

  • That apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer?
  • That apples may help with heart disease, weight loss and controlling cholesterol?
  • That apples could protect the brain from the type of damage that triggles such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinsonism?
  • That the antioxidants found in fresh apples can protect nerve cells?
  • That apple consumption can help remove trapped food and clean between the teeth?

Then there's the myths . . .
  • Apples are thought to be a mystical and forbidden fruit in some religions.
Apple cut horizontally, showing seeds

And one more, which is interesting . . .
  • Apple trees do not flower in tropical climates because they have a chilling requirement.

Gotta go now . . . headed to the market . . . to buy some apples.

Apple Hints for those crazy about the fruit:
  • To keep apples from discoloring after they are peeled, cut the pieces into a bowl of salted water (1 tbsp to a qt. or water).
  • Use a ripe apple to ripen other fruits quickly. Place both in a brown paper bag. Set in a cool, shady spot and make sure there are a few holes in the bag.
  • When making caramel apples, stick them onto a piece of styrofoam after dipping. They dry without sticking and store nicely in the fridge.
  • Instead of throwing away the peels, saute them in butter, then spice them with sugar and cinnamon. Yum!

In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November. -- Rose G. Kingsley


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