I feel very lucky when I come upon and apple or pear tree that has a crop of fruit ready to pick, they are often the only thing left of a long forgotten home, though some are planted by squirrels and other creatures who cache seeds for winter and then forget about them. The fruits are often far from perfect looking, and look very different from what we might find in the grocery store, but these old varieties have a robust flavor. As if a bit of the savior in them is expressed in their hearty flavor, a flavor untampered with for reasons of shelf life , texture, size or eye appeal. This year the old trees groaned under the weight of their crop, and I groaned as i carried them home.
Yesterday I stood at the kitchen sink, peeling apples. attempting to take the skin off cleanly and in one log continuous strip. Watching the snow drifting down, winter is tightening it's grip. As I sliced them into the pan, I couldn't resist taking a slice of two for myself. The taste of every autumn season, the
orchards long gone where I had picked apples with my parents and siblings, the way those stored apples made the cold room smell, the Heatrola coal stove that warmed my grandparents house, standing near it and being at once hot on one side and freezing on the other. Feeling a sense of bliss spread over me, I look forward to next year.
But for now anticipating the taste of the apple cobbler in the oven. Baking on a cold day not only warms the house it warms the heart.