International Lifestyle Magazine Issue 51 - Page 93

As I look out of my kitchen window I am blessed with views of an orchard, alas the orchard isn’t mine, otherwise I would have picked up the hundreds of apples and pears that lay wasted on the ground. BAKED APPLES Y Words: Alan Coxon ear after year I watch what I consider to be a criminal offence as the wasted fruit return to the earth from which they came, knowing that millions of people are dying from starvation, and the same amount of people living on the poverty line, yet we still live surrounded by examples of such wasteful abandon. On a positive note, I have seen a few examples of common sense and generosity dotted around, as those with an excess of fruit offer free bags of apples to those that would appreciate and enjoy, after all who can resist the aromas of a fresh baked apple pie with a hint of cinnamon or the sweet and zesty flavours of an apple and blackberry crumble with lashings of fresh vanilla custard or if feeling a little more cosmopolitain, an apple strudel with thick fresh cream laced with a splash of calvados ,ho, I am drooling just at the thought and I havn`t even had breakfast yet ! Apples hold strong in religious circles also for when cut in half they reveal a five pointed star, this pentagram is known as the star of Bethlehem, the seeds within the star represent the resurrection as this is how the fruit continues it`s life. In folklore, apple boughs hung above the door frame of a house is said to bless the couple that resides within the house with added peace and love whilst to the end of this month, kids will possibly break away from their laptops and revert to an ancient game of apple bobbing!, a game that may have originated in Ireland before being adopted by the Americans for All Hallows Eve celebrations. For centuries England has been an apple growing nation, mostly thanks to king Henry 8th who planted orchards across Kent and who would have probably made a law against such apple waste. The notorious Monarch apparently had a great liking for Apples, pears, plums and cherries and married them off with cream. Long before Henry however, the Romans were credited with the perfection of the fruit and for spreading it across Europe. They cross bred varieties to bring out sweetness and even had “pomologists “who employed the technique of grafting. In 23 AD Pliny the Elder (a Roman statesman) described 37 different varieties of cultivated apples and farmers would auction apples whilst on the tree. Even further back to 850 BC , the Ancient Greeks were using Apples and were mentioned by Homer and were considered to be very valuable, men would propose to a woman by giving her an apple whilst the famous Greek physician and father of medicine “Hippocrates” who lived around 400 BC used apples in many of his prescriptions stating “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food”!. This October the UK celebrates “National Apple week” so let`s take a leaf out of our ancestors book, and enjoy our precious harvest for all that it is worth. For a few apple recipes, please visit my website