When I was a little girl one of the traditions of autumn was to go to the apple farm. As we walked into the huge barn, the scent from the bushel baskets heaped with red, green and golden apples was thick in the air. Bottles of cider lined the walls; apple butter and apple sauce were on the shelves. There were apples everywhere.
My mother always bought 2 bushels of apples: one for her to cook with, one for me to eat. Yes, I ate a whole bushel of apples every fall for more years than I can remember. I had a paper route after school. I would come home, change clothes, grab an apple or two and hop on my bike to deliver the papers.
I continue to eat a lot of apples.
When we lived in Andorra our Monday walking group always had a 'banana break' midway up the mountain. All of the walkers broke out their bananas but me: I had an apple. They all proceeded to tell me of the health benefits of bananas, nature's wonder food. (These were the same people who told me not to drink water in the heat because it would make me sweat!)
I was not about to let my beloved apple go undefended! So I did some checking. On almost all counts the apple is equal to or better than the banana, indeed, most fruits. It's easy to carry, crunchy, juicy and tasty….So there!
I like crisp, tart, full-flavored apples! No wimpy Delicious or Golden Delicious for me! (Although we had a Golden Delicious tree in Andorra and they are much better right off the tree!) I want Harralson if I'm in Minnesota. It's an apple that positively screams 'Autumn'. It doesn't ship or keep well but while it's in season it's the best there is. Really! Trust me, I know my apples.
Here in France I like Elstar. Pink Lady is good as long as it's a bit on the green side. And, of course, Granny smith in a pinch.
I like big apples! Make it worth my while! I don't eat the whole apple, though. I cut out or eat around the core. I hiked with another apple-eater who ate the whole thing. I was fascinated watching her eat an apple. She didn't eat it around, like I do, but straight through, devouring it all.
We went to our local apple farm last week. Not as big as the one in my memories; the apples in big bins rather than baskets; but the fragrance was the same. There was cider for sale but honey and walnuts instead of apple butter. And I bought my apples in sacks rather than baskets. I did get to taste them all, though.
My current favorite way to eat my daily apple?
For lunch…. or breakfast…
Apple a la Katie
1 big, tart apple, cut into chunks
1 carton of yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 tbs of Kama (from Estonia, courtesy of Pille, of Nami Nami)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
It's like a decadent apple dessert but it's ready in 5 minutes, absolutely delicious, and a little healthy – but don't tell anyone.
If I still lived in the U.S. I would be heading to Bayfield, Wisconsin next weekend for Apple Fest, for some serious apple doin's….
Here is the information on submitting your favorite apple recipe for Apple Day; for the round-up check with Zorra of Kochtopf early next week. The event is sponsored by swissfruit.
My mother always peeled the apples for us when we were little. She still peels them for herself…