Monday, August 3, 2009

Nostalgic Moment: Transparent Apples

My sister in law brought over some yellow transparent apples today, the first apples of the season. Ken and Shelley have a small organic orchard and it's a treat to receive gifts from them. You see, this is very special for me because I love apples, apples of every stripe and variety. Delicious, MacIntosh, Johnathon, Ida Red...but the most special apple is the Transparent.

Why? It's the first apple of the season. During the barren several months between old crop and new it's a wasteland of possibilities for devout apple eaters. Of course, grocery shelves these days will make sure they have apples for every month of the year, even if they have to ship them in from Peru, or Argentina, South Africa, or New Zealand. But it negates any move to going 'green' and eating local.

The yellow transparent was imported from Russia in 1870. This variety is very hardy and cold resistant, Its tender melting flesh is a favourite for pies and sauces, and ideal for early summer eating. It's also especially good for apple sauce and pies sprinkled with fresh cinnamon.

My Aunt Helen won a pie contest at the Leamington Fair using Transparent apples from their backyard. She was even featured in a national woman's magazine Chatelaine for her delicious pie recipe and for her use of Tenderflake. The crusts of her pie melted in your mouth.

On my father's farm we had a large Transparent tree behind the greenhouses. After a hot day of harvesting potatoes and tomatoes I'd climb the tree to pick the sweetest, biggest apples tinged orange by the sun.

It's funny how childhood memories can be triggered so powerfully. What nostalgic memories have you had recently?

Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why. ~Bernard Baruch

With an apple I will astonish Paris. ~ Cezanne