Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Apply Ally

Along my journey..........

 I've started more cider......
 I've humbled myself with a child-like journal cover......
 I spent afternoons reading and researching ......
 I began some of the preparations.......
 Tinctures, oils.....
 of leaf and twig........
 And learned a lot so far.....
about my apple ally. 

Her fruit most markedly as food, her bark and leaf as medicine, and seeds as fertility charm and potential tree. I've baked her up for dessert and smothered her recklessly in local whip cream. I sliced her up and braised her with chard for dinner, and stewed her with pears for a compote. I've started a mother vinegar and have yet to discover it's success. What I'm loving about my ally choice, is how intimately it is involved with my other current obsession: fermentation. For thousands of years people have been fermenting apples; apple peels, apple juice, apple sauce, and adding apples to other fermentations to ensure it's yeast activity. 

And in love? Apple is always in love. Oh the love! I can hardly begin to recite the history of affairs the apple has had. From ancient Celtic fertility rites, to Eve, the Apple is the quintessential love fruit. And being the easiest, most accessible libation for old farmers to make and keep on hand, the credit for amorous behavior is no surprise. 

For many, the apple in raw form causes terrible stomach discomfort. True for me. But the moment it's processed into sauce, sparkling cider, butter, or cooked, the problems dissolve. I've yet to come across concrete explanation for this, but I can make educated guesses. 

In tea-medicine, the twig infusion was the most palatable. It quickly reminded me of the delicious appley-sweet leather kind of flavor I find in good-quality bacon. Without the bacon flavor. I'm a fan of both. 
And interestingly, the twig infusion is incredibly soothing to the gut. 

On my dresser I have six seeds from an apple I ate. They are drying, and I will attempt the impossible challenge of trying to sprout them. Perhaps. I wonder. Really, I'm charmed in my curiosity. 


7 comments:

tansy said...

ok, now i'm getting jealous of your ally! lol sounds like you are having a marvelous time with it and i LOVE your cover!!

tansy said...

i forgot to add to my prior post, adelena started seeds a few years back and we managed to keep 1 of her starts alive. it is getting ready to bud out, it's a granny apple seed. supposedly apples should be grafted onto stronger root stalks but we are going to take our chances with planting this one out as is.

if i recall, she simply collected the seeds as she ate the apple, planted them in pots and started watering them. we had 3 growing but i forgot to water them and 2 died. :(

Shamana Flora said...

I love the apple leaf tea, but need to try the twig tea. HOw long did you infuse for?
Yes sooooooooooo nice on the belly!!

I almost picked apple, but glad you did, cause I"m flailing at keeping up with the ally challenges and i get to learn through you.

Shamanic Winds said...

What a lovely Ally you choose: APPLE!!! I'm waiting to see if you will ever try or maybe have already, making Apple Cider Vinegar...when I bought my first jar of it, I had thought it'd be a wonderful thing to try and make my own, since there are so many wonderful uses for it! Keep up the good work, cannot wait to read more of your findings!

~Shamanic Winds )O(

The Plant Whisperer said...

Thanks!
Darcey, I made my infusions before bed, so they steeped overnight. It was gross. Twig infusion, much better! I do think I need to try it as a short-timed tea. Yes the tummy soothing properties was a very nice experience.
I don't doubt you'll become immersed in Hawthorn when the snow melts and you can get out for a good visit.
Kristine, thanks for the growing tips!! So cool!
Shamanic Winds, I did start a vinegar and am waiting to see how it does :)

Gwendolyn said...

Hello, I hope you don't mind that I am posting. I found your blog via A Field of Tansy.

What a beautiful love affair you have with the apple. Apple is part of the Rosacea family, is it not? What a lovely collection of plants that come from that family! Your pictures are very inspiring.

The Plant Whisperer said...

Welcome, Gwendolyn! Thank you for visiting. Yes, Apples are in the rosacea family, along with more heart loving herbs like hawthorn, cherry, and of course roses :)