Apples Apples Apples

September 13, 2023

Apples Apples Apples


I bought this painting because I love everything about apples: picking them, eating them, drinking their luscious cider, walking through orchards and of course baking with them. My Mother always made homemade applesauce, cooking the apples until soft after which she would ask me to push them through the foley mill, which is an unusual old fashioned looking apparatus, but is the perfect tool for making applesauce. I loved twirling the handle of the foley mill then eating that warm cinnamon flavored applesauce with pork roast and luscious mashed potatoes for dinner. My Mom regularly introduced me to the splendor of simple delicious cooking.


I’ve tasted the sweet smokiness of apple butter cooked over an open fire at my college roommate’s country home. Its dark brown natural sugar was coaxed out of the apples as it simmered over an open fire. Her family worked in an orchard on their property. On my first visit to this wondrous place, I was led under the heavy hanging boughs of apples of various intoxicating varieties. We sampled tastes of apples I had never known before. As we walked, we could hear the constant buzz of bees and yellow jackets who were gorging themselves on the rotting fruit beneath our feet. Everything was deliriously happy in that orchard. I could imagine why Eve wanted to share the simple apple with Adam in the Garden of Eden.


Our suburb in Finneytown was built on an old nursery. Random trees were left in place and others were plowed down. In our neighbor's backyard, a random apple tree grew and was subsequently used for climbing as well as occasional harvesting. It was because of the abundance of apples on that tree that I learned about pie baking. One early autumn day, I collected an entire brown bag of gnarly, bug eaten specimens, some as small as a lime. I peeled them and cut out the seeds until I had enough slices to make a “Betty Crocker” apple pie. It was pretty good. Apple was my dad’s favorite pie. He loved it a la mode. The only joke he ever told was about a frustrated restaurant patron who was trying to order a ham sandwich but eventually has to order a piece of apple pie. It wasn’t that funny, but memories are.


Who can’t love the story of Johnny Appleseed? The idea of this lone man randomly planting apple seeds across the newly created American countryside seems like it must have been a myth, but in fact he is responsible for planting and caring for numerous orchards from Pennsylvania to Indiana. His goal was to plant enough apple trees so that no one would go hungry in the vast new American wilderness. He definitely loved apples as much as I do.


In Autumn, when my son was a boy, after riding home from various sports events we would sometimes discover a family apple orchard. I was amazed to discover that Red Delicious and Granny Smith were not the only varieties of apples that existed. There were in fact so many other apples that I discovered that we would sometimes take a Sunday drive just to get another bag of the “Crispy” ones at Roosters outside of Milford.


As the leaves begin to fall, we celebrate apples at BonBonerie too. Debra, one of our master decorators will start to make her gourmet caramel apples that you can special order. Karen, our head baker will also be making our classic caramel apple cake filled with fresh apples, walnuts and covered with a luscious house made caramel, and we have revived the French Apple Slices, a buttery crisp cinnamon crust which is covered with fresh vanilla custard and a blanket of fresh spiced apples. It’s one of my favorite bars. Heather’s apple walnut cookies are a cake-like cookie with cider frosting that every fantasy grandmother would make for you if you came for a visit, but now you can stop by and get one from us instead.


Apples, Apples, Apples in any form will never disappoint!  Enjoy the splendor that they provide while you can.


Sharon Butler