When I think of autumn, I always think of apples. I grew up going to apple orchards and apple festivals throughout my childhood – it was our autumn tradition. Now, I work here at North Star Orchard, the “appleiest” place on Earth, and I suddenly have more apples than I know what to do with! Of course, they’re great on their own or dipped in peanut butter, but I wanted to try something new.
When you think ‘apple’, what pops into your mind’s eye?
I can just see it – a dark red, shiny, large fruit…perhaps sitting on the top of a bountiful fruit bowl, the sunlight streaming through the kitchen window reflecting off its polished surface.
Now hopefully those of you who have been our customers or CSA members for awhile might have a different vision! But I bet even a lot of you still picture a nice big red apple, even if it’s not so polished with wax that it gives off its own light.
So, where did this come from? How did our vision of the apple get to be this way?
Ever wonder how, despite the huge amount of variation in the natural world, almost all produce sold in grocery stores looks so uniform and perfect? Well, long before that produce reaches a store or farm stand, commercial growers both large and small have worked to sort out the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Some equations are best left unsolved. Despite all the delicious, rewarding, motivating experiences we have in our culinary careers, there can be distressing moments. Whether it’s a burnt omelette, a rotten melon, or an unfortunate mismeasurement of salt, such mishaps induce cringes and sighs everywhere.
With the fall arriving, and because this is the way my brain works, I’ve been wondering why I so look forward to the change from summer to autumn every year. Have you ever wondered why maybe you prefer one season over another? There’s something to be said for not over analyzing enjoyment of a thing because reducing it down to the constituent parts saps it of magic, but I’m not worried about that.