Thursday, October 07, 2010

Apples

Matt and I went apple picking last Sunday afternoon.  We picked Macouns, McIntoshes and Empires at an orchard in Harvard, Massachusetts.  It was chilly out, like fall is supposed to be, and I wore a thick yellow sweater that my grandmother gave me for my birthday.  The orchard store, where a blue grass band played live on the porch, was surrounded with the bright autumn colors of pumpkins and gourds. The air smelled of dirt, grass, and the vaguely fermented twang of wrinkled apples rotting on the ground. 

I thought about the first autumn after the car accident, the one when I could no longer smell.  Then, I watched the landscape change from the window of my bedroom at my father's house, where I recovered from knee surgery.  I could see the leaves fade from green to earthy shades of red and the grass wither and die.  But the season changed without me.  I could see it, but I couldn't feel it - not without the familiar scents of apple cider, butter crusts, and decaying leaves.  Like watching a movie, I was present but not participating.  Interested but not engaged.  The world was no longer as I recalled.

These apples that Matt and I picked this year are particularly delicious.  They are fresh and crisp, practically bursting with juice.  I've been eating a lot of them raw.  But last night I cooked pork chops with onions and apples, a recipe adapted from Martha Stewart online.  The chops browned in butter and oil, the onions and apples caramelized in the leftover fat.  Tonight I'm making an apple sauce, and then an apple pie. I'm happy to again possess fall.

4 comments:

Jess said...

Hi, Molly. I just found something today that I misplaced a year ago, something not very valuable monetarily speaking, but VERY important to me, something irreplaceable. After so much searching and agonizing when it first went missing, I was convinced that it was gone forever. Then, today, I opened up an old music book, and there it was between the pages. It fell out onto the floor, and for some reason, I instantly thought back to the moment when I first smelled again(cucumbers!), and how wonderful and weird it was to experience something that had once been a given as a novelty. The parallel between my two lost-and-founds is imperfect, and I'm not sure why my brain connected them, but there you have it. Anyway, then I read your post, and had I the urge to tell you all of this. Hope you're well. I'd love to see you soon.

BB Goad said...

the pork chop looks so tasty! i think we will try it this weekend :)

Josephine said...

Molly, I'm so happy that you are enjoying the aromatic delights of fall again. No other season is quite as seductive.

Molly said...

Please excuse the deplorable length of time it has taken me to respond to these lovely comments!

Jess - I've told you that one of the first strong smells that returned to me was cucumbers, right? Strange!

Beth - Did you ever try the pork chop recipe out?

Josephine - Mmm fall. Seductive is right.