Apples are a symbol of so many things – certainly autumn, as they fill the fruit stands by the bin and taste of the fresh crisp fall air; also good health, being the quintessential simple nutritious food that could “keep the doctor away”. They have become a symbol of technology too – Steve Jobs apparently liked the apple because of its simplicity and beauty. Maybe there is a lesson in all that symbolism, that life itself can be simply enjoyed.
Apples are one of the first foods ever recorded, being a symbol for not only knowledge but also temptation. Did you know that as far back as the 17th century, all fruit and even some vegetables were referred to as a kind of apple? Tomatoes were “love apples”, and cucumbers were “earth apples”. Apples have been at the centre of many tales in history, both true and fictional… Snow White succumbed to an apple from the evil witch, Sir Isaac Newton is said to have come upon the idea of gravitational forces and apples abound in religious and mythological stories from Norway to Greece to Wales. They certainly seem to have an impact on our lives, so I think it behooves us not to make sure we enjoy them.
If you can’t think of anything better, perhaps a bit of apple bobbing is in order for Hallowe’en? At least a candy apple…
Well, believe it or not the summer is over and apple time is back. Most orchards are just picking the last fruit off the trees and soon will be closing doors until next summer.
My daughter is now 18-years-old and like most kids that age, hanging out with dad at a fruit stand is not as much fun as it used to be. The good news is that I did that many times with her when she was younger so my hope now is that she passes it on to my grandchildren one day. Food values are not something that come naturally to our children like many other values. We as the parents need to educate, show by example and even push upon them that eating one apple a day is still a good idea. Eating something that grew on a tree has to be more important to them, more so than eating any old thing - like frozen pizza pockets flushed down with a Red Bull.
Food values come to children just the same way as if you tell your children to eat broccoli and don’t eat soap. Early on in their lives, you decide what is good for them and what isn’t and later on you hope that these short lessons stuck with them so that as they grow older they make the right choices. Guess what? Eating dinner and sitting down at a table with the whole family together is still the best place for those lessons.
If you are having a hard time selling this to your kids, try showing them the IPOD, or IPAD or even a MAC computer… and show them the logo… “yes honey, it’s an apple, and guess what? There’s a bit missing in the apple to show you that apples are good for you, honey!”
Make this with your kids this Sunday and show them that cooking is simple and good for them.
Chef Martin’s Apple Goop
- 8 large apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
(Gala apples, Nicola, Red Delicious, Granny Smith or even Spartan all would work for this, as long as they are a hard style apple for cooking).
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch at the end to make it a bit thicker if necessary
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
In a large saucepan, combine the water, apples, sugar, spice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender but not mushy and the mixture is a bit thicker (around 10 to 15 minutes). If needed, add your cornstarch diluted in a touch of water.
Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature before serving and remember this mixture will also thicken a bit as it cools off.