October 4, 2013

Apple Goodness





The most gorgeous fall day...
As I delved deeper in the orchard, away from the city noise, the rows of apple trees created the perfect perspective when the parallel lines intersected at the horizon. Moving from tree to tree, I was gathering the most delightful apples in the world... Somehow, I lost my son and husband along the way and my only companion was the sound of my footsteps on the wet ground and the dull thud when flicking near the stem of a nicely ripe apple. I was devoting minutes to every single fruit cuddling in my palm... to feel its coldness, to revel in its perfectly round shape, to study the shades of its color... I couldn't help, but clean one McIntosh with the corner of my shirt and take a bite... a big, juicy-tender, crunchy bite... and another bite, and another bite... Suddenly, I found my 7-year-old self on the roof of my grandparents barn picking small green apples from the only one gorgeous apple tree in the garden. My granny would slice, carefully spread the apple pieces on newspaper pages and leave them on the old stone stairs to dry under the gentle autumnal sun. In winter, she would make a dry fruit compote, guaranteeing us the taste of the fall harvest. My grandpa would use the bruised apples, plums and pears to make his signature fruit grappa, "the elixir for the soul". My mom would bake a simple apple strudel that will fragrant the house reminding us of the goodness of the tree. My dad would put apple slices in his herbal tea inviting us to warm our bodies after a long day outside...
Strangely enough, or perhaps not so, I feel more close emotionally when I am so far away from my extended family physically...  
As my bag became more and more full, my heart seemed to get full, too...
This time, I think, our traditional visit to the orchard wasn't only about the simple pleasure of picking apples, or buying locally, or appreciating the hard work of the farmers; rather, it's was about the goodness of apple, the marvellous nature creation of core, seeds, and sweet flavoured flesh wrapped tidily in crisp skin. Nested in the leaves of the branches, these beauties will fill our baskets and will produce applesauce, apple pies, apple strudels, apple sider, baked apples... Then just like we sleep every night to store up energy, these apple trees will sleep all winter to store energy to make apples for the next harvest...
The giving tree... the symbol of the sacred memory of our human parental love 
We had a meaningful day.
We had baskets filled with apples.
We had gifts of generosity and love...
I had my soul overflowing with gratefulness...


Have you been apple picking yet this fall?









Baked Apples

Yields 4 apples

Ingredients: 

4 large apples such as Northern Spy, Rome Beauty, Winesap
4 teaspoons butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
almond or walnuts
raisins
blueberries (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the core from each apple. Place cored apples into a baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together the butter and brown sugar. Add oats, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, and salt. Fill each apple with the mixture, dividing it evenly between apples. Top with blueberries.
Pour a little warm water or apple juice to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until apples are tender. Serve warm.



***


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Thank you!





Sharing at Seasonal Sundays





22 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos Sylvia. I have been apple picking and hope to go again tomorrow. There is an orchard just down the road from us. So handy. :) I'll follow you on Facebook. Have a lovely weekend. Pamela

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  2. What an outstanding post - truly a work of art!

    Very well done, loved it all.

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  3. you've brought back some wonderful memories from my childhood. thank you for the sweet blessing!

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  4. Your words and photos are so beautiful. You really should make a book!
    I also was wondering if the wooden wall is in your kitchen. I'd love to see more...just this small peek and I'm in love with it!

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  5. How beautiful Sylvia...especially having a meaningful day. Those words will ring in my ears as I head for Great Dixter one last time this year...As I write this I am watching the magpies feasting on the small red apples in the orchard. They swoop and take one peck then fly away, I am left with magpie kissed apples! This year there are more than enough to share. Have a lovely weekend,
    Sarah --x--

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  6. Stunning post Sylvia, charming and so warm! Simple, delicious recipe for the crispy autumn evenings!
    Wish you a lovely week end!
    Olympia

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  7. Amazing post! The fhotos are so beautiful... Thanks! hugs form Portugal! manuela

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  8. My dear Sylvia,

    I am extremely late, due to my new job requirements....my mornings are packed but I can no longer get up at 3:30am to blog before I go in early to work! Hence, the late visit here.

    But to be here, with you in your world of the BASIC and BEAUTIFUL necessities, I am in awe. I remember making an apple pie once long ago, that my husband said was the best he ever tasted, and the best I ever made. I had to stop to think what I did differently. You know what I did differently? I took my time. I did not rush through, but I slowly and carefully added the ingredients, allowing the flavors and textures to blend. Basically, I put LOVE into it.

    Love can be an abstract concept, but when you execute it in actions, it's the best ingredient you can add to any task. Your photos are glorious as usual, and you are giving me the urge to try one of my apple pies TODAY. If not apple, perhaps a blackberry cobbler. Either way, I will be thinking of you.

    Anita

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  9. Gorgeous photos! I have been apple picking and baking many goodies. Love this time of year!
    kathy

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  10. What beautiful photos~they take one back in time~I love the way you've arranged things~
    Jenna

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  11. Thanks for taking me along on your trip to the orchard! I love the fabulous photos and the very descriptive story. We enjoy an apple strudel from West, TX which was settled by Czech. Have a lovely week!

    Pam

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  12. Truly beautiful images!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  13. Wow. I love this post. Such magnificent photos and so nostalgic.

    I hope you can come for a visit.

    Janet
    rosemary-thyme.blogspot.com

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  14. What beautiful photos! I love their earthy autumnal feel. Your recipe sounds delicious. I made something similar tonight for a treat :)

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  15. loved your stories and you rphotos, our little group is doing apple week staring on the 14th, i bought 40 pounds of apples from a local orchard and have been busy for months! everytime i see your pics i feel sheepish, you always capture the best moods~

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  16. My dear and beautiful SYLVIA!

    It was a joy to see your comment late last night! I'm running around these days with my new job and poetry writing group, and enjoying it, but I never want to lose you or the other dear bloggers that are always so kind to visit my posts. I bet you are enjoying this season, aren't you? I am. The quiet moments (when I can get them!) are so meaningful, and that "simple" life is always to be desired. Your comments on my post are kind and gentle, and I wish everyone was as such.

    Enjoying pumpkins, falling leaves and a chill in the air? Like most other seasons, I wish fall lasted longer. Funny how the longest months are spent in winter, in waiting....such a great idea to ponder!

    Have a lovely day my friend. Anita

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  17. This is a really gorgeous tribute, Sylvia. I had to come back when I could slow down and savor it. I love the romance of an apple orchard. Wonderful photos.

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  18. You made me feel like I was in the orchard with you.

    Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

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  19. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Dear Silviya,
    Every time I visit your site . . . and see you photos . . . I wish I could read/see your work daily.
    You're an inspiration.
    As always, thank you for sharing your beautiful life with us.
    Warm Fall hugs,
    Suzanne

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  20. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Dear Silviya,
    Every time I visit your site . . . and see you photos . . . I wish I could read/see your work daily.
    You're an inspiration.
    As always, thank you for sharing your beautiful life with us.
    Warm Fall hugs,
    Suzanne

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  21. Hi Sylvia, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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  22. Exquisite....what more can be said? :) Your art and musings inspire me always....
    (And some of your sweet childhood memories sound very close to home, my Black Sea sister...) :)
    Love to you...
    Many blessings,
    - Irina

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