Comfort Me With Apples

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It was like this:Last Minute Chance to See the Fall Leaves.

So we put aside our fears and our history and our patterns and went for a drive. The weather was indifferent, a low-ceilinged sky. It took too long to get out of the city, and we never did find the turn-off we were looking for. Finally I said: Let’s. Get. Off. The 401. Now.

Then it was like this: Winding roads. A chip wagon. A greasy box of poutine, (hey, American readers: poutine is fries, cheese curds and gravy, delish) shared, as we drove through towns thick with limestone buidlings. A limestone quarry. A General Store. A charming little pub. Trees already bare. Trees awash with orange and gold.

A forest. Thermos of chai. A dog. A conversation, running backwards and forwards like one of those winding roads, you go over and over the rupture until it makes sense and you can integrate it, accept it. Move on, to something different.

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And finally, an apple farm, a little one. Farmer Brown came out just as we pulled up and stood proudly behind his apples, eight different kinds in separate bags, each with a label and damn if my camera isn’t broken or I’d have the sweetest photo. Have I ever stood so proudly behind my work? Have you? Some apples heirloom, some not. Some with funny names. Smoothie was one (should have written them all down). Mac. Russet. Cortland. We got a mixed bag, about 5 lbs., for 5 dollars. Ate apples with slices of old cheddar, Lucinda Williams on the CD player, all the way home.

What will I do with all my apples? One idea below, from Leah Konig /The Jew and the Carrot.

Apple Salsa
(From Leah Konig, The Jew and the Carrot)
serves 4

3 regular-sized local apples (or 2 mondo-sized apples), cored and roughly chopped
1 small-medium onion, roughly chopped
1/2 Jalapeño, deseeded and finely choped
A big handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons of Agave nectar or maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. This salsa tastes great served right away and even better the next day, when the flavors have had time to mingle.

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