Apple season is here! My friend Davie and I’ve have been busy picking and processing apples for juice, pies, chutney, jelly and we even dried a batch. We’ve been peeling, coring and slicing this crispy lush fruit to freeze so we can bake loaves of apple bread and muffins when the temperatures are cooler. We juiced over 12 gallons of apples for apple cider vinegar, hard cider and just to enjoy the sweet juice.
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is an old Welsh proverb. Apples are one of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world. Apples continue to be praised as a one of the miracle foods, because they are extremely rich in antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber with almost no fat, sodium or cholesterol.
My web search on apples in Wikipedia states: “An apple is a sweet, edible fruit produced by an apple tree (Malus pumila). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide, and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions.”
William Tell is a Swiss folk hero who refused to bow in homage to an Austrian nobleman's hat placed in the Town Square. He was forced to shoot an apple off his son's head as punishment. Ultimately he played an important role in Swiss independence.
I’ve been scouring books and the internet for recipes. I picked up a book from the library written by Susan Wittig Albert. China Bayles’ Book of Days. Susan is the author of the China Bayles series that I have enjoyed reading. The character, China has a herb shop in the fictional town of Pecan Springs in Texas Hill Country. Herbal titles include: Thyme of Death, Lavender Lies and Rosemary Remembered. Ms. Albert’s website states “Each of her mysteries has a signature herb that is connected to a major theme, and each is liberally sprinkled with information on growing and using herbs. The China Bayles novels have been praised for their intelligent plots, quirky and appealing characters, interesting settings, and strong writing.” And that’s why I read them!
The Book of Days subtitles reads: 365 Celebrations on the Mystery, Myth and Magic of Herbs from the World of Pecan Springs. January 6th is the day for apples with a recipe for Apple-Spice Nut Bars and these comments:
Apples were believed to have powerful medicinal qualities. Some apple lore:
To keep colds away for a year, eat an apples at midnight on Halloween.
To keep up the strength, sniff a sweet apple.
To remove warts, rub the warts with an apple and bury it. When it rots, the warts will disappear
Adam and Eve - A lot of research has been done on the forbidden fruit commonly thought to be an apple. Researchers do not believe it was an apple, but the lore remains. This article from NPR 'Paradise Lost': How The Apple Became The Forbidden Fruit by Nina Martyris discusses the apple and the Fall of Man is an interesting read concluding with “Meanwhile, the serpent, its mission accomplished, slinks into the gloom. Satan heads eagerly toward a gathering of fellow devils, where he boasts that the Fall of Man has been wrought by something as ridiculous as "an apple."