Volume 3 Issue 10
November, 2000

An Apple a Day....

My earliest recollection of apples would have to be the smell of them cooking in my mothers kitchen, and it was usually in the fall, a wonderful apple crisp, and the smell of the sugar caramelizing, spilling on the floor of the hot oven. Then later in life going to an orchard with my kids on eastern Long Island where you could pick your own, choosing from many varieties. The air was getting cooler, the leaves were turning brilliant colors, but the sun seemed low and hot, bringing out the bees which seemed to love those apples as much as we did.

The triumvirate of American apples is of course Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh. And there's a good chance that if you had one of these, it came from Washington state. More than half the apples produced are grown there. In the US we consume 13 pounds per capita.

It is climate and a lava rich soil that makes Washington so ideal but actually apple varieties in the USA once numbered in the thousands!

In 1869, a nursery in Virginia listed 428 varieties. Many have disappeared but luckily some felt a mission to preserve these forgotten varieties from extinction. It is estimated that there were once over 1300 Southern varieties alone! Unfortunately over 80% of these have disappeared.

These are called heirloom apples and mostly through word of mouth, forgotten trees still bearing fruit on abandoned family farms or vacant land, have been sought out, cuttings taken and the seeds preserved, thus saving from extinction a wonderful edible fruit!

Early Americans could count on having a crisp apple almost any day of the year because of their keeping ability.


Simply the best. Apple crisp is fast and simple.


  • 5-6 golden delicious apples sliced, not thin, and I don't bother peeling them
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1t allspice
Mix all that together and put in a shallow, buttered, baking dish


  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 C oats
Pulse in processor until it forms clumps, or simply do it by hand in a bowl with a
wooden spoon
Put on top of apples and bake for 20 / 30 mins or until tender
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