Thursday, September 18, 2008

Harvest Time

I believe we planted our two apple trees five or six years ago, and this year is the first that we've gotten a true crop from either of them. Both trees were loaded with a variety of round, dimpled, mildly deformed, to yes, seriously ruined tart, cooking apples. But I was determined not to waste any of the unscathed morsels of fruit, even if it meant cutting around squiggly little worms fighting for what they deemed as their turf.

What I wasn't prepared for, however, were leaping, squirming earwigs that unexpectedly released themselves from their chosen juicy home and decided to investigate the surface of me. More than once those ugly black creatures with their u-shaped butt and too-active tentacles caused a most girlish high-pitched squeal to escape from the usually-calm me, along with a muscle-jarring jig that thankfully sent them flying back into the sink. Each time I managed to recover my wits quick enough to depress the garborator button immediately. But, still, with perseverance and added caution, I ventured forth to create my masterpieces of Apple Crisp to be enjoyed during the approaching winter months. There's a certain satisfaction in creating a well-loved dessert from the fruit that you first enjoyed as pale-pink blossoms on your trees. Climbing a ladder months later to retrieve the ripened fruit is an added bonus to the whole experience.

Initially, I tried two low-fat recipes, hence the two pans pictured here. The family unanimously decided that the lighter version was never to be made again. Just to prove their point, over a third of it was sent to the waste bin. "Too dry, too nothing," was their take on it.

Since the initial two taste-tester pans you see here, I've stocked my freezer with seven tin pans filled with the following Low Fat Apple Crisp recipe from our apple harvest so far this year. (I need a taller ladder to get to the remaining fruit.)

Low Fat Apple Crisp (From COOKS.COM)

7 c. sliced peeled apples
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon


1 c. quick rolled oats
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. soft butter (I use cholesterol-free, low-fat margarine)

In 2 quart baking dish put apples on bottom. In small bowl combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add to fruit and toss.

Topping: Combine oats, sugar and cinnamon. With 2 knives cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or microwave at high for 15 minutes. Serves 8. Enjoy hot with 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla ice cream for a special treat!

It's taken five or more years for our apple trees to produce enough fruit for baking. Sure, we've had the odd apple make it to maturation in the past couple of years, but never enough to supply the entire fruit requirement for even a single apple crisp, and this year we have enough for eleven, at least. I suspect that's how it is with writing. Each year of studying the craft and diligently writing gets you a little closer to the final prize--a baked-good composed of your mature writing, complete with your editor's recommended tweaking. A book that you can hold in your hands, and truly feel the satisfaction of knowing that you nurtured and persevered through droughts and storms to achieve this writing harvest.

Writers, may God bless us with the nutrients and perseverance we need to one day discover our very own harvest time.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9




Jessica said...

Yay, fresh apples!
My hubby planted a lemon and a lime tree a few years ago. I'm still waiting for a crop :-)
Congrats on the apples. That had to be fun.
And I love the comparison to writing.

kalea_kane said...

Sounds absolutely yummy! I really enjoyed reading your analogy. God bless you for fighting off the earwigs! YUCK! We used to have a good sized garden when I was growing up in California, and I always had to deal with earwigs in nour corn. Toooo creepy!