My dad loved apples just about as much as anything. Dad was a forester and he worked out on tree farms of Michigan inspecting and marking trees for a living. He often visited with the land owner and sometimes came home with a bushel basket of apples. He knew where the best apple orchards were to go for Cortlands, Gravensteins, winesaps, and Jonathans. He also knew who pressed cider and always bought us some in the fall.
Dad loved all the textures, colors, and varieties of apples. Certain types like Northern Spy and Romes were best for pies and others like Macintosh were best for eating fresh. Dad carried an apple with him most of the time and crunched away at its sweet juiciness while he drove or worked.
Of a winter evening, Dad loved to slice a couple of apples into a skillet with some butter and brown sugar and eat that with ice cream. It was pie without the crust, but pretty yummy.
I have inherited that love of the fruit from Eden. I love a fresh crunchy apple. I love an apple pie, but I want homemade crust and hot juicy filling. I prefer a few slices of sharp cheddar cheese melted on the top to ice cream. I do love cheese. I do.
My Dad taught me so many things and so many are connected somehow to his love of trees. He raised Christmas trees and sold trees many years. He knew the names of most all American trees. He brought home sacks of black walnuts from the woods and dried them in the basement on the floor behind the furnace.
Apple season always makes me miss him more.
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