For more than a couple years after I planted them, my little apple trees bore no fruit. Should I have fertilized and watered the trees? A friend from an orchard family said they shouldn’t need such coddling. Then one year they produced not only spring blossoms but summer apples, ripening at the weeks went by. And now the crop is so heavy, I’m glad I only planted two trees, because what would I do with more? Especially since I still can’t resist gathering wild apples, too, when I come across them.
|Only the beginning!|
Most of the apples I harvest go into the dryer. It’s a slow, laborious process but also pleasingly meditative work, and the keeping of dried fruit is a snap. Apples seem forgiving rather than fussy, too, when it comes to thickness of slices to be dried, and I like a fruit that accommodates me rather than making its own demands.
On Halloween, however, with a fire in the fireplace and the wind howling around the old farmhouse, a departure from usual routine was indicated. Something simple and rustic. Out came lard and flour and two knives. A pinch of salt and a few tablespoons of cold well water. Then to roll out a single piecrust and drape it into a small casserole. Into the deep declivity went sliced apples with a little flour and sugar, cinnamon, and (last but not least) small bits of butter. Finally the crust drapery was pulled over the top and pinched together, snugging the apples cozily inside. No recipe, just old peasant grandma at work in her farmhouse (Paris) kitchen.
|Hot from the oven|
We do not have dessert every night, but certain times of year bring on cravings, and cravings that unite so well with harvest should never be denied. Dinner was delicious chicken gumbo, and that deserved noting, but I'd made it the night before and couldn't find my camera.
My bedtime reading on Halloween was Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes, by Elizabeth Bard. That was cozy, too. And who knows? Some of the recipes sound so good they may inspire me to pay more attention to this blog, which I have shamefully ignored since May.
|Cream would be nice poured over this, too....|