Across the arc of a number of seasons, we have had the difficult and expensive task of removing some trees who had lost the battle with time or the emerald ash borer and who might be a danger to our house if a brisk wind were to kick up. I have been asking the land what it needs ever since.
This little patch of land carries on and begins the path to recovery via nature’s vigilant first responders, the fungi. It is magnificent to see them crop up just where they are needed. I merely observe.
One of the trees which seemed to be asking for a place here back in spring time was apple. It all seemed like a grand experiment back then, which perhaps it was – for due to deer and other challenges to those early flowers and fruit we harvested a mere two apples.
I watched our little trees grow in spite of the challenges they faced, and wondered if what fruit they were yielding might yet be left riddled with worms as the gentlemen at the nursery were so keen to tell me. It is a risk I’ve been willing to take.
One day the apples let me know they were ready to come inside by nearly tumbling into my hand when I checked on them. And so I brought them in and pondered their beauty for a couple of days.
They were so beautiful and as their were only two, I decided to paint their portrait for posterity. For who knew what would lie within.
I gently peeled and cored the apples, gathering every last juicy morsel from them. I’ve never been so thankful for apples.
As luck would have it, they were nearly spotless! And I felt a deep sense of pride in them.
I made a pie crust (mine is an all-butter sort, my favorite, though tricky to pull off if you lack any patience) and cooked up the apples with a combination of a number of recipe-like ideas. Mostly simple – things like a bit of sugar, cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg. And put the two together into some mini pies……
They baked up beautifully and are now awaiting our after dinner treat time. We are not, generally speaking, dessert eaters. But I think for tonight we may have to indulge.
I must figure out a different fencing situation for next season to further protect my young trees from the mindless suburban deer who seem to have nothing better to do than wreck ones gardening dreams. But for now I am thrilled to have had even a small (intimate, really) harvest to bake into some delectable delights to savor.