Today I want to talk apples.
You know, the red ones, the green ones, the sweet ones, the tart ones, even the in-between ones!
I’ve never been to an apple orchard (apples don’t exactly grow in the desert southwest) but many of you have! This is your chance to tell me about your trips to an apple orchard! What did you do there? Did you actually climb the trees to get to the apples? How do they keep the worms and birds away? What’s the weather like? Does it rain all the time or is it foggy? Did you wear rubber gloves? Did you get to eat the apples right there on the spot?
Have you ever visited a cider mill? Pamela has, in Franklin, Michigan. Did you watch them make apple cider?
I did a Google search for a picture of an apple orchard. OMG…is this what they really look like?
My friend Arnie lives in Connecticut. We told me he was going grocery shopping today, and I asked him to pick up some apples for me!! Yea, right, as if he could do that and bring them right over (it’s only about 2,500 miles!). But he offered (wasn’t that nice of him) and then he told me “next month is apple picking season, so I’ll go to the grove and pick some for you. They’re delicious.”
So I jumped on the opportunity and said, Great, pick some for me!
Then I told him this tidbit: Abbie and I share an apple every day. (yesterday we didn’t have one and we had blueberries instead …not a good season for blueberries and she didn’t like them!).
(For those of you who don’t know, Abbie is my dog. She’s a Bagel (that’s part Black Lab and part Beagle). She LOVES apples.)
I was raised on apples. My dad (who is 92) still eats an apple a day! We used to have an Apple Par-tay (accent on the tay) in the evening. We would challenge him to peel a red delicious apple all in one piece (sometimes he could do it) and then we’d fight over who got to eat the peel! Of course it was the middle of that incredible apple that was the star of the show! Pamela’s mother ate an apple every day, too, and she lived to be 91. There must be something special about apples!
Back to the tidbit about apples. I have seen noticeable improvement in my skin since Abbie and I started this at the first of the year! Could it be? Well, the dark spots under my eyes are gone (are you listening, Cindy, because we always thought it was inherited). And I’m tanning beautifully (no burning skin here). I discovered the benefits of eating fruit each day — 1.5 cups for women or 2 cups for men is recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They say, “Consuming apples boosts your intake of essential nutrients, including fiber and the essential mineral potassium. Apples also benefit your appearance, since they contain nutrients that nourish your skin.” They also say apples provide Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Copper.” Copper? Yes, Copper. Here’s what the U.S. Department of Agriculture says about apples and Copper: “Copper helps you make melanin, the brown-black pigment that colors your skin. Melanin in your skin protects you from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, so being able to produce melanin provides natural sun protection. Melanin also makes up an essential part of other tissues, including your eyes and hair. Each large apple contains 60 micrograms of copper, or 7 percent of your daily copper requirements, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.”
Whenever I design a fresh fruit gift basket, I always include apples. There are so many kinds! Here’s a chart I found that tells about the different types and varieties of apples.
I remember one day last December I was designing about 25 fresh fruit gift baskets for Christmas presents. I brought in cases of apples from a local farmer’s market and started to separate them for the baskets. Pamela said, “Gee, aren’t you putting anything in the fruit baskets except apples?” But of course I was (I added pears, oranges, lemons, grapefruit and bananas) but the highlight of the fresh fruit baskets were the apples.
My dad still prefers red delicious apples, Pamela, Abbie and I like galas. What is your favorite type of apple and why?