Dinihanians Farm, just a mile from us, donated a thousand pounds of apples, and Boy Scout troop 208 hand-juiced them in antique presses. Everybody got free samples. Have you ever had cider that was pressed less than five minutes ago? It was amazing. It reminded me of when we were kids and Dad's garden was yielding voluminous produce. He'd go out and pick corn AFTER the water was boiling on the stove. About five minutes after it was picked, we were eating it. So. Good.
We've lost touch with freshness in our complicated world. It takes a lot of effort to take time to commune with the soil, pick vegetables, tend fruit trees. I wish we put more value on the simple art of growing our own food. We'd appreciate it so much more, and we'd take time to savor it. We'd be more grateful for it, because we'd know what it took to get it to our tables.
An apple is an amazing thing. Growing it, picking it, cutting it up for a pie or applesauce or just eating it while it's still warm from the sun, these steps are part of the process of our lives. Having our food grown, processed, and packaged by people we'll never meet from places we'll never visit divorces us from our food, our sustenance, our life force.
If you don't garden, find someone who does. Or visit a local farm, and join a CSA -- a marvelous way for the community to support local farmers and to receive the freshest produce. At least visit a farm. Once you start connecting to your food sources, you'll feel an amazing burst of life energy, and you'll wonder how you stumbled through so many years without this vibrant awareness.
Susie's Apple Crisp
5 pounds Granny Smith apple slices (about 6 pounds whole apples)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup (1/2 pound) butter
Place apple slices in 9x13" baking pan. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and toss gently to distribute evenly.
Combine last 5 ingredients and blend or cut with pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly and fairly evenly blended. Spread over apple slices. Bake at 350 for about an hour, less if you like a little bite in your apples.
Makes 12 generous servings.