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All about creating abundance by gardening!

   Aug 26

Of apples, apple cider, cider doughnuts. Edible autumn in New England.

As we start to harvest  our apples I give this lovely article to you to enhance your harvest experience plus an Apple Cider doughnut Recipe. Read on…

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. The bounty of New England’s small family farms is now available at road stands throughout the region. The weather, despite the wallop of Hurricane Irene, has been beneficial and the crops are ample. There is, therefore, enough for all.

I love this time of the year, and my neighbors do, too. We, though we abide in the region’s cities, make a point of leaving our urban condominiums and walk-up apartments, glad for the opportunity to taste autumn. This is a yearly ritual which none of us wants to miss, for it calls us, if only for a moment, back to the land which is a part of all of us and which recalls us to a past which is for all of us at some point agrarian.

We are all of the land… and the farms and gardens, so picturesque in October, remind us where we have been… and of our forefathers… who kept faith with this land… tending it… nurturing it… protecting it… so that the land and their descendants might prosper together. Each rock that they used to build the fences that make good neighbors reminds us of our own families and the constant work that the land necessitates. The land demands… and we obey the land… for this is the way of the immemorial land and richness that comes forth if we but do our part. Apples are part of this land and this richness… and now is the high season of these apples.

Apples must be picked.

Each apple that you see has been picked. It’s something we urban dwellers never think about and which industrious apple growers must never forget… for apples on a tree are useless to all but the birds which well know how to get their sweet juices.

In his poem “After Apple-Picking” (published in 1915) Robert Frost reminds us just how laborious it is to pick the apples. On his tiny New Hampshire farm, Frost tells us that in apple-picking time the farm and the needs of the crop determine all. Everything else must be put aside for now; this is the way of the insistent land, the demanding land, the land that dictates that which humans who desire the bounty of this land must do:

“And I keep hearing from the cellar bin The rumbling sound Of load on load of apples coming in. For I have had too much Of apple-picking: I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired.”

Apples must be packed and promptly moved.

Apples, like every fruit of the farm, must be moved, for we buyers and eaters of apples are slothful and must be waited on. We will go on a yearly ritual of pilgrimage to the apples… praising farmer, land and crop.. .but we demand on all other occasions that the apples we so desire be brought close to us.

The apples I buy, for instance, come from Kimball Fruit Farm in Pepperell, Massachusetts. It is a far trek from Cambridge and so Carl and his helpers bring the apples to me in a local farmers’ market, held each Sunday in Harvard Square until Thanksgiving. There after 10 a.m. (the strict opening time, not a minute earlier permitted)… I can fuss over the multitude of varieties, rejecting most, selecting just the most attractive, aromatic, and (I trust) delicious.

Even after his many other customers purchase (for Carl and Kimball have a following), the piles of apples are still heaping; each and every one must be re-packed, taken back to Pepperell, to be packed again tomorrow, moved again, scrutinized again, and so on until at last all the apples are gone. Carl, like Frost, gets overtired, too.

But apples are the pride of Kimball Fruit Farm… and their website boasts of over 40 varieties…. how many could you name? Baldwin, Blushing Golden, Brock, Burgundy, Cameo, Chesnut, Crab Cortland, Elstar… the list goes on an on, each one a pledge by Proprietor Carl that the land will be so cherished so that each of these apples will flourish in years to come, including one of the most beautiful apples of all: the Spencers which I crave. And so it has been going on for the thousands of years apples have been amongst us, starting in Western Asia, where the apple’s wild ancestor, the Alma, can still be found today.

There are more than 7,500 known cultivars, resulting in a wide range of desired characteristics. So desirable are these characteristics that 55 million tonnes of apples were grown in 2005, with a value of about $10 billion. China produced some 35 percent of this total; the United States was second with more than 7.5 percent of world production. Iran is third, followed by Turkey, Russia, Italy, and India.

Many of these apples are eaten raw… but many are also transformed into that silky mixture called apple cider. I buy mine from Allen’s Cider Mill in West Brookfield, Mass. The reason I initially bought from this stand at the farmers’ market was that the fellow tending it looked so sad. I felt glad to lift his load just a smidgeon, but in truth I liked the product… and got in the habit of buying from him, though he is laconic to a degree and has never smiled in my presence or ever said a friendly greeting. I notice such things. A teen-aged boy of 15 or so helps the man out; it’s probably his father. They look alike. I notice he never smiles either and that makes me wonder at the ways of genetics and family farms.

The label makes it clear that this cider must be refrigerated at below 40 degrees Farenheit and wants you to know, too, that it has been ultra light treated for my safety… no preservatives… no additives… and is made of “washed sound ripe apples.” I have never bothered with such cider labels before, but I am grateful for their care and practical concern, though I’d still like a friendly greeting, a smile, and a chipper query asking me how I like the cider, since I keep returning for it… and for the cider doughnuts, too, which I first sampled at this stand…

I was in a relaxed and friendly disposition the day I saw the hand-written sign about cider doughnuts and asked what they were. The answer was worthy of Silent Cal, Vermont’s only president. “Made with cider, instead of water,” he said, as if each word was a treasure to be hoarded, not shared even for commercial gain. They were 50 cents each; I got one, the minimum risk… The next week I got 4… and devoured them at record speed, a new taste of fall… topped off with cinnamon and sugar. It is a delicacy indeed, and I can bear even the lack of amiability so long as there are cider doughnuts near at hand… and great, grand Spencer apples, too… and the smoothness of apple cider. For all of these together, and each distinct, is truly the apple of my eye… deserving of high praise, no waiting, please, for I have no patience, none at all.

But I do have a song to accompany so many delicacies. It’s by the Four Lovers, “You’re the apple of my eye.” (released 1956). Go to any search engine to find it now… and enjoy. For you are “done with apple-picking now” and must take a moment to eat, savor, and thank. For apples and everything about them are a great joy and benediction. As you and I have known for a lifetime, haven’t we?

* * * * *
About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online.To learn more go to Dr. Lant is also a syndicated writer and author of 18 best-selling business books. Details at

Apple Cider Doughnut Recipe

Yield: about 18 doughnuts and and doughnut holes


For the doughnuts:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat or nonfat works fine)

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider

Or for a maple syrup glaze:

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Or granulated sugar coating

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

And vegetable oil for frying


Go to Source of this Recipe: Pumpkin Patches and More

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