A Fascination With Forbidden Fruit…….

We can’t be sure, but it is thought the apple goes back to 6500 BC, a fruit that was forbidden by God Almighty, whose explicit orders were ignored by Adam in the Garden of Eden after a snake talked the hapless Eve into taking the first bite. She persuaded Adam to take a bite and all hell broke loose. Christians believe the persuasive traits of a woman and the weakness of a man are the genesis of today’s state of affairs in the world of Christianity. I wish the Lord would have chosen another fruit, as the apple deserves better. Here is my take……

I have always loved apple anything, pie, cobbler, stewed, crisp or a beautiful Jonathan in hand. How fortuitous that I was initially stationed in Lafayette County with the loess hills of the Missouri River forming it’s northern boundary. A small town on US 24, Waverly, is home to a good number of apple orchards that sold their apples in a variety of roadside markets along the highway. Apple season found then Trooper Mike Mulholland and I haunting the highways in this region, where we delighted in stopping in a orchard stand where the owner’s daughters would always have an apple or two for us, carefully selected from their stock for sale. These beautiful country girls, proffering an apple for the troopers, goes a long way in explaining Adam’s dilemma when Eve coaxed him into sin.

They grow ‘em well around Waverly, Mo.

The ancient Greeks and Romans, folks who lived large, loved apples as did the mighty Norse tribes that were noted for their ribaldry and fierceness. Deep analytical science did not exist in those days, but it was accepted that apples, in addition to their wonderful flavor and texture, contributed to a sense of well being and good health. These folks would not have known a polyphenol from a anthocyanin or a broad axe for that matter, but knew they were crunchy and delicious. Somehow they also recognized that apple skins were the source of most of the nutrients and eschewed peeling before eating. I must have Nordic blood (actually, I do) as an apple pie or crisp is complete for me when the skin is left on the fruit.

When a comely little lady at one of our orchards handed Mike and I an apple, the nutritional value of the fruit was lost in the moment. Apples are “nutritional powerhouses” sayeth today’s scientists, who tout the positive impact on red blood cells and nervous systems as well as digestive tract. A list of ailments that apples impact includes arthritis, obesity, gallstones, bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, anemia, insomnia, neuritis and halitosis. Apples promote hair growth and when chemically altered are helpful in treating dandruff. The farmer’s daughters that proffered the apples could have tempted us into eating rocks back in the day, a holdover from Eve, I am sure, and we really didn’t consider the health benefits. When you get older, the health benefits come into focus……..

A whole lot off temptation in Adam’s day……..

Let’s wrap this up. It is apple season, and our retail establishments have any number of varieties to tempt us. Green, red, pink and yellow. The Japanese, in particular, delight in grafting apple trees to produce the latest, greatest variety of apples. I am old school. Give me a bag of fresh Jonathans and I will pass on the other varieties save a plump Granny Smith, dipped into Sharon’s magic cream cheese and marshmallow concoction. It is apple season. While the apple was critical in outing the original sin, I think the Lord has moved on to the bigger problems of today. We just bought a sack of Jonathans from Peter’s Orchard in Waverly and I have been savoring their tart sweetness daily.

Being a trooper on US 24 in apple country was a wonderful experience, strongly imbedded in my memory. Fifty years of living since then has not diminished the beauty of life in those days. Thank you Lord, for the memories and the ubiquitous apple….

Have a great week!

SR

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