So I went to pick up some peaches yesterday (we went through the large container I got last week very quickly after sharing with Frasier who’s been over to nobly assist The General with some technical issues) and was told that the peaches are done for the season!
Not earth shattering news I understand but I was saddened that The Season had ended so suddenly for me, at least, and worse still without my noticing that it’s now close to the end of September …
Since I had also gathered all the ingredients to make a peach crumble/crisp/buckle or something equally comforting the next obvious choice was to get some really decent apples.
And then I started thinking about all the stories in my life associated with apples and thought I’d thrill you with a few highlights.
Food is, after all, so interwoven with memories.
It’s a very primitive, important thing.
An apple “slicer” – that kind of miniature bicycle wheel shaped device that is placed above the apple and then pushed vigorously down to pop up slices of apple and a centerpiece of core was one of the first gadgets I was fascinated with as a child. A friend’s Big Sister was always allotted to “fix us apples” regularly in this way and the snowy segments with their thin bands of deep red were dusted with cinnamon and a flutter of sugar at the end.
I begged for an apple slicer of my own – it seemed the pinnacle of sophistication to me – but my mother did not share my opinion and never tired of pointing out that we had perfectly good knives at home. Really?
Also, as a child we regularly collected and tried to eat the crab apples that had fallen and created a thick, pink carpet of intensely smelling, vinegar-apple mash beneath the tree.
The hard,tiny red globes made our mouths tight and dry and we had to close our eyes as we bit through the tough skins. Repeat till unbearable stomach aches occurred.
As an adult and mother, I loved going to an orchard to pick apples “as a family” with the boys running amongst the trees, trying not to notice that the apples were being used as ammo on such a pastoral afternoon. “Only use the ones on the ground darlings!” I whispered sharply hoping other, better parents would not hear. After a heavenly afternoon, we were all tired; so instead of the tall apple pie I intended to make (with the bushel basket of apples we had just picked) I often ended up buying one at the orchard store to pop in the oven on our return.
Apple cider is of course an ancient drink with its fresh, apple smack of tartness and it’s absolutely delicious in both alcoholic (“scrumpy”) and non-alcoholic forms but the Brits always like to tempt providence which is how an innocent pint of lager hooks up with good cider and results in a “Snakebite.”
(I’ll just share that this is only one of many “results” after having a few of these.)
I also dabbled with the tangy Green Apple line of products when I was a moody teen and sought out shampoos and all manner of Granny Smith-shaped bottles promising a similar bright scent inside but they were all disappointingly synthetic in the end.
In Sunday School, we were somehow required to make old fashioned apple head dolls (why was that even a thing, I still don’t understand) and we patiently carved expressions into the fruit that would eventually shrivel and shrink into a sort of universal Georgia O’Keefe face giving a whole new (undesired) meaning to Apple Crumble …