Saturday, October 09, 2010


By definition (overseas and everwhere but Vermont, I think), I'm a Yankee. Not born in New England, but upstate New York...and I grew up thinking Yankee, reading Yankee Magazine and devouring books on the Northeast and New England.

Part of that heritage is apples. When I was small we'd occasionally go apple-picking and to the cider mills in the area. From my early 20s to 2008, the only orchards I saw were the ones I drove past on my way to somewhere else.

Last year DH and I finally went apple-picking. We picked half a bushel of apples and I made apple marmalade and did quite a bit of baking.

The marmalade was an enormous success with everyone who tried it and I want to make at least twice as much this year. I'd also like to experiment a bit with apple pies...when we last visited Concord, MA I picked up a wonderful cookbook devoted entirely to baking apple pies (!) and am looking forward to trying some of the recipes soon.

Macintosh aren't in season any longer, so we'll be dealing with other varieties. The one variety that I have been searching for for most of my life--I kid you not--is called the Rhode Island Greening. Particularly appropriate now that I'm living in Rhode Island, isn't it?

I first read about it in a children's book set in the 1940s. The main character's mother decides she'll bake a pie to enter at the fair if she can find some of these heritage apples (they date at least to American Colonial times).

With the recent push for organic and heritage varieties of produce and meat I have high hopes, but we haven't found any yet.

It's entirely possible that I will simply have to buy my own tree. They are available, but it'll take up quite a lot of space in our small yard.

If anyone out there knows of a local orchard where I can find some, I'd be grateful!

And after I make the marmalade, I will post the recipe. As it happens, I found it in the (hardcover) Yankee cookbook, first published in 1939.

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