The Real Big Apple

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The Real Big Apple

The biggest apple ever?  I think so!  It more than fills my extended hand.  It's a doozy, anyway, and it makes me happy.

OK, of course New York City is the other big apple.  But this isn't about cities, it's about ranches and really big apples.

Where do your apples come from?  Seriously, where do they originate?  For that matter, who's tending the soil that grows any of the plants that you eat?  Where do those people live? 

My food people live all over the world.  Coffee from one place, grains from another, turkeys from somewhere else.  We all know it's pretty global when it comes to food these days.  Many of us are making an effort to pay attention to fair trade and organic and other values when we can.  I hereby acknowledge that paying attention to those things represents a level of privilege than many people do not have.

Because of the secondary costs of shipping food -- like apples -- around the world, it is worth thinking about our food choices and from whom and where they come.  We humans are connected and it does matter.  When apples come from New Zealand or blue berries come from South America, the pollution from that air or sea transport adds up and becomes a cost that the Earth bears.   

I’m no angel about all of this.  The berries I buy in winter don’t come from around here (the Southwest U.S.).  But I do make an effort to buy food grown or produced in the United States and even more locally when I can. 

That’s why I have to give a shout-out to this apple.  It came to me as a gift from a friend, Jeannie, who lives on a ranch in Northern New Mexico, a ranch that has apple trees at least 100 years old.  This apple, she promised, was perfect for pie.  There are many varieties of apples on that old ranch, names unknown, but they can be pegged for what they’re good for:  pie, fresh eating, or applesauce.   And Jeannie was right:  this apple is perfect for pie.

She gave me a whole, full bag of these apples:  what a beautiful bounty.  The actual big apple pictured above is going into my Red Hot Apple Pie this Thanksgiving.  I’m looking forward to sharing this new favorite recipe made with perfect pie apples.

In this season of thanks, my gratitude is especially for such a gift, such a reminder that the best can come from close by, that good apples made into a good pie can be the very essence of the season:  kindness, warmth, and home, shared with those we love.   

Whatever your version of a perfect big apple is this season, I hope you find it and celebrate it!  And, thanks for sharing, Jeannie!

Categories: Deep Dish Archive, November

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