|Youngest apple picker|
Monday marked our annual apple picking trip. We head out to D.K. Orchards (aka Vince Browns) usually after October 1st to pick our favorite variety, Ida Reds. It is always a fun time. You get to ride a tractor pulled wagon out to the orchard. This year we had gorgeous weather. It was in the 70s and sunshiny. We picked 3-1/2 bushels that will be converted into applesauce, apple butter, apple bread, and apple pies (or just eaten) over the next month or so.
It was Meredith's first excursion to the apple orchard. I carried her in the snuggly carrier. She like grabbing the leaves, until she decided she was hungry. So there I sat on the wet ground in the middle of the orchard, feeding her. I guess you can take it with you. My big "helper boys" picked probably 5 of those 7 baskets. I am so thankful for them. I am also finding that they were not as size discriminatory as I would have been. Golf ball size apples may be cute to eat, but aren't easy to peel. And we ran across some friends at the orchard who helped carry a lot of the baskets to the wagon. Whenever I pick produce my eyes tend to be bigger than my stomach. I pick a lot, and then get it home, and wonder just what I was thinking.
|2 of the 7 baskets.|
The idea that the apple was the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that Adam and Eve ate is a rather young one. Apples are the forbidden fruit in Greek mythology. Hercules climbed into the Garden of Hesperides to pick the 12 golden apples off the Tree of Life. During the Renaissance Period, artists began painting Adam and Eve with apples based on this idea of the forbidden fruit.
|The finished product|
The apple was considered, in ancient Greece, to be sacred to Aphrodite, and to throw an apple at someone was to symbolically declare one's love; and similarly, to catch it was to symbolically show one's acceptance of that love. An epigram claiming authorship by Plato states:
I throw the apple at you, and if you are willing to love me, take it and share your girlhood with me; but if your thoughts are what I pray they are not, even then take it, and consider how short-lived is beauty.
—Plato, Epigram VII
The saying "the apple of your eye" means the thing cherished above all else. Moses uses the term in Deuteronomy 32:10 to describe God's relationship with Israel, "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye." The prophet Zechariah warns, "he who toucheth you (Israel), toucheth the apple of His eye." (Zechariah 2:8)
Apples are ascribed health benefits. Who hasn't heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? That proverb dates from 19th century Wales.
So common, yet so complex...
And one last tidbit for impressing the youngins'...Guiness book of world records reports that the heaviest apple known weighed 1.849 kg (4 lb 1 oz) and was grown in Hirosaki city, Japan in 2005.