Saturday, August 26, 2006

Apple of My Eye

The year 2005 was Prescott's year of no apples. One friend who generally knows about such matters said that the problem was a bee bust -- a disease that decimated our local pollinators.

2006 is an entirely different matter. Despite our extra dry winter and spring, the trees are l-o-a-d-e-d with beautiful fruit. All around the town.

I don't care if a worm or two have made themselves comfortable in many of the fruit -- the local apples I've picked up from the sidewalk beat the grocery product all hollow.

The problem is that Fry's and Albertson's and Safeway and Basha's all buy the Big, Beautiful, Polished product of the Washington growers, who have forgotten how a Real Apple should taste -- tart and crisp, like autumn.

Unfortunately, I lived to the East for many years and am used to those smaller, scrawnier Jonathans from Michigan. What they lack in beauty they make up for in flavor! The western growers introduced Jonathans last year -- but they had been Californicated! Bigger, without bigger flavor to match.

OK, the Granny Smith apples almost make the grade. But I expect to make great applesauce and Waldorf salad from Prescott tree droppings this fall!

Some folk are kind enough to put the dropped apples in a box on the sidewalk for passers-by (or possibly deer or javelina) to help themselves. They even make good yard decor (above.)

In addition to apples, two other fruit can be counted on to weather the late spring frosts up here in the mountains -- plums and pears. Biting into ripe, locally grown Barletts is the next thing to Heaven!


k said...

Oh, Lord, your blog is making me hungry again.

Karen of Scottsdale said...

I love Golden delicious apples. Are the apples in Prescott anything like them?

Lane said...

I can feel the crunch! Being off sugar at the moment, I told my hubby that for my birthday in a couple weeks, instead of the cake (which I love to munch, but makes me eat more and more of it like an alcoholic not in recovery) I want a dish of apples cored and baked with butter and raisins. Then gimme a candle, and I'm ready to roll!

Granny J said...

No, KS, I'm not one of those food blogs (tho for years I wrote for the foodservice industry press.) And, Karen -- no, my favorite street apples are a lot tarter than Golden Delicious. And Lane's comment reminds me -- what ever became of that old supermarket standby -- the greening or pie apple? I don't think the stores here ever offer such an animal.

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