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Apples! Apples!

September 22, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
Whenever I think of apples, it never fails that the wailing of the trees in the Wizard of Oz always runs through my head.

Apples are available year-round in our grocery stores, but they are never as good as they are right now in the fall in Northeast Ohio. We can likely thank John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, for bringing apples here, even though the apples we chow down on now barely resemble the apples of that era.

The fact is, John Chapman was delivering apple trees so the makers of hard cider were able to plant their own orchards. The apples of long-ago were small and bitter, but they make good libations for those who indulged.

That’s not to say those apples weren’t good for us now. Many of the apple varieties we enjoy today were cultivated from those bitter apples that John Chapman peddled. He was, after all a nursery man by trade, so caricatures of Chapman prancing through the woods dropping apple seeds everywhere are more than slightly exaggerated.

My favorite fresh eating apple is an early variety called Honeycrisp. On the apple scale of sweet to tart, Honeycrisp leans to the tart side. It is crisp with white flesh and a medium-red skin that swirls with yellow. Last year, while visiting relatives in North Carolina, we went to an apple farm and I asked about Honeycrisp only to be admonished by the farm owner who told me Honeycrisp was all gone for the season and I’d have to find something else.

My second favorite apple is Braeburn, while my husband prefers Fuji. We sometimes banter back and forth about our favorite apples but when someone finds a variety they like, it’s difficult to convince them otherwise. Enjoy apples this season. Not only are they are plentiful and even more delicious due to the wonderful summer rains we enjoyed and the recent cool nights and warm days, but one medium apple, about three inches in diameter, only contains 95 calories and zero fat.

Breakfast this morning was a bowl of Fiber One cereal with banana and skim milk.

Lunch was when I enjoyed my apple. Well, it was more like after lunch. After a big bowl of rice macaroni and cheese, in which I tossed carrots and peas and a small can of tuna, I was too full for the apple. But it made a great mid-afternoon snack and made me wish I had brought two in my lunch bag.

Dinner was actually pretty boring and there is no photo. When I got home from work my husband, who has been fighting a nasty cold, lost the battle and had gotten it full force. He felt like nothing more than chicken noodle soup and toasted cheese sandwich, which is what we had instead of a more intense meal. Perhaps something more interesting will come along when he's feeling better.


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Breakfast: 2 ounces grains; ¾ cup fruit; ¾ cup milk; 30 discretionary calories. (Do I have to say it? Sugar in tea).