image by Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
October is National Apple Month. And so is September. And November. In 1904 National Apple Week was founded. The event has now spread across the apple harvest and runs from September through November. Here are ways you can celebrate the marvelous apple.
Visit an apple festival. Festivals from coast to coast offer fresh apples, baking contests, craft booths and apple games. These family-oriented community events are a wonderful opportunity to see, smell and buy fresh apples. They often share a festival weekend with pumpkin patches and scarecrow contests for an unforgettable outing.
Pick your own apples, or at least buy them at the orchard. Take the drive, visit the rural areas and have a great day. Picking apples is not so much for saving money as for the experience and camaraderie. You truly are not likely to use up 20 pounds of Granny Smiths, but a friend goes along and gets Macintoshes and another friend gets Golden Delicious so you can all swap apples for a wonderful mix of baking, snacking and eating varieties.
Host an apple party. Send an apple invitation to friends. Invite each to bring a plain or fancy food made with apple. You may get apple ice cream, pie, muffins, cookies and more. It's a fun way to try new recipes. Old family recipes are often made with lard and sugar baked in an oven for hours. Friends are likely to have updated healthier versions with less time in a hot kitchen.
Craft an apple. Make apple head dolls, dried apple wreaths and apple candlesticks. Have the kids make a clove-decorated apple for a picnic or barbecue centerpiece. This easy project requires 1 ripe apple and a box of whole cloves Poke 2 or 3 dozen cloves into the apple by shoving the stick end into the apple with the clove heads on the outside. Folklore says that flies will stay away from this clove-studded apple and leave the picnic alone.
Raise an apple cider toast to Johnny Appleseed. Born John Chapman on September 26, 1774, this pioneer nurseryman moved ahead of the westward migration. He chose fertile land, planted apple seeds and returned to tend the growing trees. New towns often settled near his nurseries. Johnny Appleseed planted thousands of apple trees. Remember his apple-planting legacy and enjoy apple harvest time.