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John Eggers: How about them apples?

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The Creator took a risk when we were led to believe that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was an apple. Our feeling about the apple could have been the same as our feeling about the snake. We don’t like snakes. What if we didn’t like apples?

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There would be no apple orchards, no apple crisp, no going to get apples in the fall, no caramel apples, no Granny Smiths, Sweet Tangos, Honey Crisp, Harrelsons, McIntosh and no Delicious. Think of going through life with no fresh, homemade apple pie and ice cream.

The Bible doesn’t name the forbidden fruit. It could have. Think of some foods we could do without or make less use of. Kids would vote for broccoli. The snake could have said, “Here, Eve, have a piece of broccoli.”

Many of us don’t care one way or the other about kohlrabi. It is shaped like an apple. I personally vote for eggplant. “Here, Eve, have some eggplant.” When Eve would have offered it to Adam, he would have said, “What am I supposed to do with it? Eat it? No way!”

You see? History would be entirely different today. Adam would have never eaten eggplant. Would you? The name alone is a turn off.

But, alas, when we think of the forbidden fruit, we think of the apple. Luckily, the apple is so delicious (pardon the pun), life would just not be the same without them.

Apples would be at the top of my list for most beloved fruit. They have always been a big part of my life. All of us have an apple story or two. Apple stories are about as American as, well, apple pie.

I have told stories about how old Regis Fenney locked me in her cellar for stealing, I mean, “swiping,” her apples. My parents took me to the Faribault hospital because they thought I had appendicitis when my stomach felt like it was going to explode. Actually, I had eaten too many of Regis’ green apples.

I can still smell the aroma of my mother and grandmother making applesauce. My Red Owl store boss, John Dudley, would tell customers that the Harrelson was the best all-around apple. One of my favorite things to make is bread pudding. I put in a secret ingredient. What is it? Of course, it’s a Harrelson apple.

My mother took pride in her apple butter. There is nothing better than apple butter on a thick slice of homemade bread.

My wife is the only person on the planet who doesn’t like to eat fresh apples. This is probably because none of her young buddies ever gave her an apple. Too bad I didn’t live in her neighborhood. “Hey, Kathy, let’s go swipe some apples.”

I was brought up believing “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It must work because a doctor hasn’t visited me at my house in more than 60 years.

Did you know fresh apples float because 25 percent of their volume is air? I wonder who the first person was to bob for apples.

Did you also know that more than 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States, but only the crabapple is native to North America? We can thank Johnny Appleseed for spreading the good news about apples — one of my heroes.

Apples contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a good source of fiber. My high school health teacher told me that if you want clean teeth, eat an apple. I wonder if that is why I still have all of my teeth.

Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit. Apples will bear every year if you thin them out. I never knew that until a Master Gardener told me.

Apples ripen six to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated. I would still rather have a cold apple. If you want to store apples for the winter, they should be stored at around 40 degrees.

The largest apple ever picked weighed 3 pounds. That’s enough to make one whole pie. I believe I could eat an apple pie in one sitting.

Each of us eats about 45 pounds of apples a year. That would not include my wife. I make up for her by eating about 90 pounds a year.

Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 BC. I wonder how many of those early apple eaters thought they had appendicitis because they ate too many apples.

Apples are a member of the rose family. This only seems fitting, doesn’t it?

The top apple producers around the world are China and the United States. If I were president, I would make it our national goal to beat China in apple production.

Let’s return to the Garden of Eden again as we close out my brief essay on apples. Maybe God really wanted us to believe the forbidden fruit was an apple. We know that whenever we are forbidden to eat something, chances are pretty good it will be eaten. He just wanted us to love apples.

Do you suppose this was God’s way of telling us, “Okay, I am going to boot you out of the Garden of Eden but you can still have your apple and eat it, too. I promise not to upset the apple cart again. How about them apples?”

JOHN R. EGGERS of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.

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