Any apples in that basket?

Not Far From the Tree summary: apples; fried apples; apple sauce; problems with ‘Joy of Cooking’ index and binding; information about Plated Stories and Not Far From the Tree; (click on images for more photos and larger views)

Are you seeing apples everywhere right now? I am: on Jamie and Ilva’s blog, Plated Stories, at the market, hanging from trees, in baskets in our house, their wonderful scent filling the air.


[T]here was [the then young G. E. Moore] seated by the fire with a basket upon his knees. “Moore,” I said, “do you have any apples in that basket?” “No,” he replied, and smiled seraphically, as was his wont. I decided to try a different logical tack. “Moore,” I said, “do you then have some apples in that basket?” “No,” he replied, leaving me in a logical cleft stick from which I had but one way out. “Moore,” I said, “do you then have apples in that basket?” “Yes,” he replied. And from that day forth, we remained the very closest of friends.

– Beyond the Fringe: A Revue, Act Two Portraits from Memory (Bertrand Russell reminisces)

Aside from these stunning red apples (sure, they have some surface blemishes but inside they’re great!), we also have another (larger) basket filled with smallish green (but ripe) apples from a tree about a ten minute bike ride from our house. As it is so often with the overgrown fruit trees we see when picking for Not Far From the Tree, the really beautiful, perfect apples were just out of reach. Still, with the help of ladders and ingenious fruit picking poles, we collected plenty of somewhat less perfect looking apples (but quite crisp and lovely otherwise) that we’ve turned into fabulous juice and equally fabulous fried apples to go with a grilled chop.

apples I do LOVE fried apples! Barbara’s recipe is wonderful. She adds ginger and raisins to her fried apples. Of course, we’ve done that in the past. But this time round, I wanted to feature the flavour of the apples so simply fried them in butter and added a touch of sugar and some lemon juice. They were brilliant!

Then last week, I was visiting with my friend in Peterborough, thinking I was too late to steal some of her brilliantly red apples (for RED apple sauce). Almost as soon as I came in the door, she presented me with a big bag of “the last of this year’s apples – you’ll have to watch and cut off the blemishes but they’re as good as ever”. Whooohooooooooooo!

Joy of Cooking As soon as I got home, I pulled our tattered copy of Joy of Cooking from the shelf and carefully opened it to the index – carefully, because if it’s opened too quickly, chunks of it will fall to the ground and pages may peel away.

I cannot believe how poorly bound this Anniversary edition is! Granted, I’ve had it quite a long time. Now, the only things holding our copy of Joy of Cooking together are the books on either side of it on the shelf.

The Joy of Cooking was one of my first purchases after I was foolish enough to join The Book of the Month Club. In my defense, how could I turn down the chance to get the complete Oxford Dictionary in 2 volumes with 4 pages to a page and a nifty magnifying glass? It was free!! ([small print at the bottom of the ad] with the purchase of 4 books at regular prices before being released).

I was so excited to get my own hardback copy of the Joy of Cooking! I already had the earlier 1964 two volume paper back version (they’re with our camping gear now). I was equally excited – in a very different way – when the binding broke about a year after I had it. And I’m not particularly hard on books! Especially treasured books.

But I’m getting away from the apples, aren’t I? Oops.


Just to remind myself of what I did to make apple sauce, I turned to “apples” in the index. And. Couldn’t. Find. “Apple sauce”!! Really??

Apple, about 129; also see Fruit
   baked, 130; with sausage, 130, 259
   beets, sweet-sour
   bread, quick, 624
   salad, 109; molded, 118
   sauteed, and bacon, 130
   strudel, 648
   stuffed with sauerkraut, 131
   and sweet potatoes, 325
   tart, 652
Applejack, 52

-Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, The Joy of Cooking (1975 edition), p. 851

I KNEW it was there somewhere. I started carefully moving to the front of the book where I thought it might be. And as I was turning the page and trying not to let the binding release pages 851-854, I saw it. It’s below “Applejack”. Why is it not in the apple section??? How I miss being about to type [ctrl+find]!

   stuffed with sauerkraut, 131
   and sweet potatoes, 325
   tart, 652
Applejack, 52
Applesauce, 131; canning, 806; freezing, 8
   cake, 678
   and cranberry or other fruit, 131

-Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, The Joy of Cooking (1975 edition), p. 851

foodmill When I complained to T that I couldn’t find the recipe, he scoffed at me. Surely I knew how to make apple sauce! How hard could it be?

And of course, he’s right. But I LIKE checking to make sure.

It took no time to make the applesauce, and wasn’t it fun to pull our beautiful stainless steel hand-crank foodmill from the wall to remove the peels after the apples were cooked?

applesauce Once again we had stunningly beautiful apple sauce. How will we be able to settle for blonde apple sauce after having this? We served it with roast chicken that night.

And yesterday morning, we had Latkes-ish with yoghurt and apple sauce. The sun was shining; breakfast was perfect; all’s right with the world.

And lucky us, there’s still apple sauce left over! What shall we do with it? Do you have good ideas?

Not Far From the Tree Not Far From the Tree

“Not Far From the Tree” is a Toronto organization that includes a residential fruit-picking program to pick fruit (with permission, of course) that would otherwise go to waste.

There are lots and lots of fruit trees and vines in Toronto!! Bearing fruit that is eaten by birds, squirrels and raccoons. If you have such a thing in your garden and would like the animals to share the fruit with people, please do contact “Not Far From the Tree”. They will send a team of pickers to clean up your yard of fallen fruit and pick the good fruit that is still in the tree. The harvested fruit is divided evenly into 3 portions: one third going to the tree owners, one third going to the volunteer pickers and the final third going to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens.

Read here for what other NFFtT gleaners did with their apples:

» Valerie Howes, Open Kitchen: What to Do with All Those Apples
» The Grid, Food Spy: Apple picking with Richmond Station
» Sara Shams, Not Far From The Tree, Crabby about crabapples?

For more information about NFFtT and how you can donate your time and/or share your fruit, please go to

apple © Ilva Beretta teacups Plated Stories | Apple

Read more and admire the gorgeous photos of apples on Jamie and Ilva’s post entitled Apple on their lovely blog, Plated Stories.


Can anything really be better than apples? I really don’t think so. There are so many wonderful things to make with apples, besides apple crisp, apple pie, fried apples and apple sauce – but I can’t wait to try a Chausson aux Pommes. I LOVE that name!

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This entry was posted in cookbooks, etc., food & drink, NFFtT, side, whine on by .

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3 responses to “Any apples in that basket?

  1. Patricia

    Where is the “like” button for Barbara’s suggestion? Her suggestion is much more practical and less self serving than my suggestion of giving red apple sauce to someone whose name begins with P and rhymes with Natricia.

    Stop making me laugh and spit all over the computer screen, Patricia!! (I’d give you some of the apple sauce if we had any left. I’m afraid we’ve snarfed it all already though.) -Elizabeth


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