Friday, October 14, 2011

Folklife Fridays: Apples

It seems that October and apples just go together.

Apples are one of my favorite fruits, and I eat them all year long. Most come from Sam's, pretty apples that are almost good but can't be compared to locally grown October apples.

I'm talking about apples so fresh you can taste the sunshine and so juicy that you need a napkin while eating one.

Our favorite orchards are in Athens, Alabama, and we went there last weekend and stocked up. The golden delicious are my favorite and I have just about ODed on them this week.

My mom was known for her apple pies, which she cooked almost every day. Hers were not fried. She made the half-moon shapes with her dough and apples then baked them. Experience had taught her exactly how much dough and apple filling was needed to make two pies that fit perfectly in her cast iron skillet.

When her grandchildren were small, they immediately went to the kitchen to get some apple pie as soon as they got to Grandma's. I wish I had a photo of those pies to share.

We canned and dried apples every year; stocking up for the cold months when an apple pie could make a whole day seem better. In addition to those half-moon apple pies, we had the two crust apple pies, apple cake, apple bread, the seven layer stack cake with dried apple filling, and many, many more desserts.

When we were small children, we sneaked and ate little green apples as soon as they were the size of plums. We managed to get some salt from the kitchen before we sat under the tree, eating several at a time. Mama's dire warnings of stomach aches often came true, but I can't remember that stopping us from eating them.

I can apples in a simple syrup, four cups of water to one cup of sugar. They are served as a side when we are having any kind of pork--I love the taste of apples and pork together. If all the canned apples have been eaten, I use applesauce from the store with my pork roasts.

My friend, Tipper, at, reminded me this week about a game we played when we were having marathon apple peelings for canning or drying. We would attempt to peel the apples without breaking the peel, then throw it over our back. If the peel landed in the shape of a letter, the letter was the initial of the man you were going to marry. Mine always landed in a 'S' and I married a 'B', so don't take that game too seriously!