Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals

All the way back to the Garden of Eden, the legends about this incredible item run. Everyone knows about Adam, Eve, the Serpent, and the apple. The tradition of the apple as forbidden fruit has persisted through many centuries, though it has changed dramatically. No longer forbidden fruit, the apple has taken on, in some instances, a magical demeanor, and in others, it has become the symbol of stability, wholesomeness, and family values.

Poma, the Romans called it, and they loved it, and ate their share. It is said that wherever the Roman army marched, they left behind orchards of trees born of seeds from the fruits that they carried in their ration kits. The apple had to be among these.

The French, in their turn called it pomme, and when they found another similar looking, similar in texture plant, the potato, they called it pomme de terre, or apple of the earth.

Like Eve, Snow White was tempted by the apple in the hands of the witch-queen. Apples are said to be the favorite food of elves, sprites, and other fantastic creatures.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Jonathan Chapman, more commonly know as Johnny Appleseed, planted apple trees as far and wide as he could reach in his lifetime.

Living up here in the country now, we find apple trees all over the place. There are at least two wild ones right on the edge of our homestead, and no doubt many more in the woods. And, though neglected these many years, they are bearing fruit. There is one a few steps from the bank of our smaller pond that has been knocked over by ice storms. It sprawls on its side, and is full of apples. We want to see if we can upright it without hurting it. There is another one in the hollow to the east of the house that is so surrounded by brush that we can't get to it. Now that we have the bulldozer, we will be able to clear around it and give it some space.

The flag, motherhood, and ... apple pie. That's us, I guess.

Now, it's not forbidden, while it may be magical or not, it certainly is wholesome and good. And the taste isn't to be scorned either.

I give you ... apples!

Apple Butter

  • 4 lbs well-flavored apples stemmed and quartered
  • 2 cups cider or water
  • sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Cook apples in cider or water until soft. Strain pulp. To each cup of pulp add 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture sheets from spoon. Pour into hot, sterilized jars. Store in a cool dry place.

  • Yields: about six ounce jars
  • Preparation Time: varies

Autumn Apple Bread

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups coarsely grated peeled raw apple
  • 1 tablespoon of grated lemon rind
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs. Sift in next 4 ingredients. Add alternately with apple to egg mixture. Stir in lemon rind and nuts. Bake in a greased and floured loaf pan (9x5x3 inches) in a pre-heated moderate oven (350F) for 60 minutes. Cool before slicing.

  • Yields: 1 loaf
  • Preparation Time: about 1 1/2 hours

Apple Cream Pie

  • 5 large cooking apples, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pastry for 1-crust 9-inch pie, unbaked
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Put apples in saucepan with sugar and water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes or until apples are tender. Drain, reserving syrup, cool apples slightly and put in 9-inch pie pan lined with pastry. Beat eggs and cream together and stir in reserved syrup. Pour over apples. Bake in pre-heated moderate oven (350F) for 30 minutes or until firm. Cool.

  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: about an hour

Upside-Down Apple Pie

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • pastry for 2-crut 9-inch pie, unbaked
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (one 1-lb 4-oz can) apples slices, drained
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Arrange nuts, flat sides up, in butter in deep 9-inch pie pan. Pat brown sugar over nuts and cover with a thick circle of pastry, 1/8 inch thick. Trim edges. Mix remaining ingredients and spoon into pastry. Cover with top crust. Bake in pre-heated moderate oven (350F) for about 40 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm, plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.

  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: about an hour

West Indies Apple Chutney

  • 2 1/2 cups (one 1-lb, 4-oz can) sliced apples, undrained
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger and dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring to blend ingredients. Simmer, uncovered over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Yields: 3 cups
  • Preparation Time: about half an hour