Friday, September 3, 2010

Our First Apples

Three years ago we planted a baby apple tree -- Pettingill apples native to Southern California (yes there are some), "discovered" in Long Beach in 1949. We waited and waited and waited and finally this year our baby tree was ready to fruit. Four lonely apples I have been hovering over and watching, waiting for them to ripen.
It seems I got a little too excited, even though they were green and flushed with red as the literature described, they were, as James described " a bit tart". His face puckered up with one bite.
I couldn't let our beautiful apples go to waste. We didn't have quite enough for even a tart. So I took the three we hadn't bitten into and but them in a brown paper bag with a couple of bananas to see if I could force them to ripen. That one, super tart, sample apple I sliced thin and sautéed with butter, brown sugar, and a hint of chili. I layered that quick apple jam with roast pork, fresh arugula, and Gruyère cheese between slices of crusty Italian bread for grilled sandwiches.
Along with the sandwiches, because my diet called or it and we had it in the fridge, a quick broccoli soup. I put fresh broccoli florets into a pot of salted boiling water and chicken stock and allowed them to cook for about 4 minutes until just tender. I puréed the mixture in the blender and served the hot soup (tasted again for seasoning) over a mound of fresh ricotta cheese (cheese for James, yogurt for me).
I suppose it's a long way to go to save an apple, but for my homegrown it might just be worth it.

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