Apples, of course, can be enjoyed any time of the year, but here, they’re always a lovely sign of autumn. Groceries will move them to the front of the store, featuring them in their awesomeness, next to piles of squash. One of my favorite apple treats as a kid were caramel apples, the sweet and awesome taste was amazing, assuming biting into one didn’t remove a tooth. As I grew older, apple pie became my favorite apple offering. As much as this dessert is supposed to be about featuring apples, it’s really the crust that makes or breaks it for me. And last, but not least is the delectable drink known as apple cider. Here in the states, cider isn’t typically an alcoholic drink as it is in most parts of the world. It’s just an often cloudy, unfiltered and unsweetened version of apple juice. When Philippe came here from Paris he was suitably confused as to why such a drink was packaged as cider. “It’s just apple juice,” he’d say and I would have to feebly explain why, no, it’s extra special. It didn’t really work, as I have a list of memories that go along with this drink to artificially enhance its flavor that he did not. Sometimes, things are only special because of the memories that come with them.

Each year when I was a kid, and still today, a local cider mill would release their cider and I would insist my mother get it for us. It didn’t take much prodding as she enjoyed it as well. What seemed like a perfectly magical flavor was mostly because it was just made of apples. No weird chemicals or sweeteners to screw up the naturally amazing flavor. Just pressed apple goodness! I loved it! I actually never tried the alcoholic version until I visited Paris for the first time. I didn’t mind it, but it was like a beer that was too sweet and lacking something entirely. Perhaps, just the memories. And also, if I’m going to bother with the calories of something like that, I’d prefer to get a higher bit of alcohol in the process, so I just stick with wine. And when it comes to apples, I far prefer them in their natural form. As I’m typing this, Philippe just sliced one and offered me a slice. Hold a moment… crunch… yep, that’s still one of my favorite ways to eat an apple.

Once again, I’ve typed away without knowing what, or even if, there’s actually a point I’m attempting to make. I guess, in the end, it’s that when it comes to food, the experience you have while eating it is one of the most important ingredients. It’s the one that has the potential to take any meal and make it perfectly phenomenal. I’ve just had a bit of toasted cauliflower and some pasta, with a dessert of apple slices. Philippe is spinning tunes on Spotify and currently regaling me with the soundtrack to the movie Bridesmaids. A soundtrack full of memories from my youth that makes me smile. Wilson Phillips is blaring on insistently about how you need to hold on for one more day, and things will go your way. A college anthem for me as I was digging in my couch cushions looking for loose change. So many memories bouncing into one another and yet, ending with just a slice of one of my favorite fruits. And perfectly transforming what I thought it meant to enjoy an apple a day.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, Ultramarine Blue, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 2 _ An Apple A Day Watercolor - Doodlewash

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31 thoughts on “An Apple A Day

  1. Your apples look good enough to eat, but my favorite way to eat an apple is with peanut butter and mayonnaise as a sandwich! Now there are some family memories that go with that. Those were the only food items in the house during a rare snow storm that kept us trapped for a few days, when I was a kid. Turned out we all loved the sandwiches and they are still a comfort food for me when the winter weather gets me down.

  2. You must read my mind, Charlie. Today, we picked the last of the apples off our two trees. Remembering when the kids and/or grandkids would help. Now, everyone is so busy, just the hubby and I left to finish that job. This was my first year of making applesauce in the crockpot. Have to say that it was so easy and will definitely do it again next year. Love your stories and your painting! 👍

  3. We lived in New Hampshire when our daughter was just 8 and took her apple picking at a local orchard. Being from Florida she had no idea apples grew on trees like oranges. She picked and picked and we had bushels of them to take home. I had to learn how to preserve them by making applesauce.

  4. I have memories of watching the apple press gush out the cider. What a treat on a fall day, especially at a fall country fair! Lots of memories enjoying apples fresh, raw and crunchy, or in Mom’s Apple Jonathan.

  5. Loved your apple art and your simple memories. So important to have those memories. Also enjoyed reading all the comments. Your Doodlewash brings back so many favorite memories for others. I love simple homemade applesauce with pork chops….the supper menu for tonight. Thanks, Charlie.

  6. Ooh yum yum! I always think of apple pie and toffee apples as autumn and Halloween beckons – oh, and apple bobbing, too, which I remember you talking about way back…. hmm, yes. Natural apples all the way!

  7. Eating an apple and looking for loose change – only you could make such a connection, Charlie, and I’m smiling at the image. We lived for a time near Franklin, MI, a charming little town outside of Detroit, and famous for its apple mill. In autumn especially the scent of the mill and the village is intoxicating. I was fascinated by the giant wheel mashing the apples into cider and juice but my favorite was the apple donuts. I haven’t had one for more than 40 years, but I can still remember the flavor of those donuts, reminding me of autumn apples and an old mill grinding the mash for one of the best flavors of the world.

  8. I’m in WA state. If you cut us, we bleed apple juice. And Boeing jetfuel. But mostly apple juice.

    That said, if you’re interested, I have the best apple cobbler recipe ON THE PLANET. My mom used to make it when I was growing up, and she got it from *her* mom, so it’s packed with generations of diabetes-inducing sugary goodness and ancestral love. 🙂

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