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Julia Brown’s Fresno Farmers’ Market Column

| September 14, 2012

With the fall harvest coming in from field and orchard, ones thoughts turn to pumpkins, gourds, pears, plums, apples, and cider. When you think of apples, you have to recall of our area’s legendary Johnny Appleseed, whose story spans generations. Many may think or assume that Johnny Appleseed was a myth or fairytale, when in fact his real name was John Chapman. His life spanned from Sept. 26, 1774 to his final days in 1845. He was a pioneer and nurseryman who introduced the apple tree to many parts of Ohio, Indian, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Being born the eldest of ten, John set his sights on the west by the age of 18, living a nomadic life. He was literally responsible for spreading his love of apples and orchards from state to state. Lucky for us, Johnny Appleseed’s commitment and life’s dedication ensured a heritage of apples for generations to come. Without exception, the Fresno Market has an excellent selection of apples to pick from, by the peck, bushel or bag full. Apples evoke a cozy image of Grandma’s kitchen and wonderful memories of apple pie and smells that remind you of home. They truly are a flavor of fall. Here is a fun idea to do with your children or grandchildren: celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s birthday by having an apple tribute party in his honor. Have an apple-themed lunch or dinner that focuses on everything apple from start to finish. You may want to try serving an apple salad, fried pork chops with apples, apple cider to drink and without saying, apple pie, crisp or dumplings for dessert. Here is a delicious apple treat that will take you back in time.

 Baked Apples

 4 large just picked apples (gala or red delicious work nicely)

4 tbsp. butter

4 tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

24 red hot cinnamon candies

Carmel ice cream topping

Core all four apples and hollow out some of the flesh to form a nice well. To the well add: 1 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 6 red hot candies and divide the walnuts between the four apples. Place apples in an oven-safe baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream, and drizzle with caramel topping. Serves four.

Believe it or not, this year’s season of the Fresno Farmers’ Market only has six Saturdays remaining. The market is located in downtown Fresno at Mark McCoy’s Auto. We are open rain or shine from 8 a.m. until noon through the end of October. Signs are posted. For information, call Julia at 545-0849 or Mark at 545-0997 anytime.

Category: Community Columns

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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