Alphabe Thursday: Letter A for Apples

Alphabe Thursday which is hosted by Jenny Matlock  has come around again and is back to letter A.  What better A to start with than A for APPLE.

The above APPLES are ones I photographed on a visit to West Dean Gardens.   They grow over 150 varieties at West Dean, and usually the last weekend of September each year they have an APPLE AFFAIR.  Here you can find displays, talks, walks and stalls selling everything and anything to do with APPLES including cookery demonstrations.

This brings me on to APPLE recipes of which there are probably more than the variety of APPLES grown at West Dean.    I Googled “old-fashioned” APPLE recipes and came across two blogs that I follow with APPLE recipes.

The first was Old Fashioned Apple Jelly on The Cottage Small Holder, and on the Lavender and Lovage  blog, I found a post about Apple Day and an absolutely delicious recipe for Apple and Dorset Blue Vinny Scone Bread – now that is definitely something I will be making shortly.

This poem is by Laurie Lee and called APPLES

Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers, the rind
mapped with its crimson stain.

The russet, crab and cottage red
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.

I, with as easy hunger, take
entire my season’s dole;
welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour,
the hollow and the whole.

Finally, some interesting facts about APPLES

  • A boatbuilder’s superstition holds that it is unlucky to build a boat out of wood from an apple tree because this wood was previously used to manufacture coffins
  • Since 1990, Apple Day has been held across the UK and beyond, on October 21. This is a festival created by charity Common Ground.
  • Irish folklore claims that if an apple is peeled into one continuous ribbon and thrown behind a woman’s shoulder, it will land in the shape of the future husband’s initials
  • According to popular legend, upon witnessing an apple fall from its tree, Isaac Newton was inspired to conclude that a similar ‘universal gravitation’ attracted the moon toward the Earth. (This legend is discussed in more detail in the article on Isaac Newton).
  • In the 19th and early 20th century, and 21st century United States, Denmark and Sweden, a fresh, polished apple was a traditional children’s gift for a teacher.
  • The Apple Wassail is a traditional form of wassailing practiced in cider orchards of South West England during the winter. The ceremony is said to ‘bless’ the apple trees to produce a good crop in the forthcoming season.
  • “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a popular saying, the apple obviously symbolizing health, but also the advantages of eating fresh fruit.

Jenny Matlock


  1. Applewood and coffins. I’ve never knew that before!

    I love going to the orchards. There are some small ones at higher elevations here in Arizona, but there nothing like the ones you shared in your pictures!

    I have many happy memories of apple picking days back in Ohio!

    Thanks for the smile!

    And thank you for linking.



  2. I love visiting the apple orchards. We have so many here in Niagara county. The photos of them always come out so nice. Interesting apple facts. I never knew the superstition on boat building from apple lumber. I don’t think I would build from wood that traditionally made coffins either.


  3. Lovely post! How wonderful to be able to pluck an apple and eat it straight from the tree! I wonder if that Irish folklore extends to husbands (maybe I’ll peel an apple, throw the peel over my shoulder and see if it lands in the right initials!!) LOL!


  4. dear ronnie..this beautiful post brought to my mind theis verse i have always loved even when i was a child..
    Proverbs 25:11
    “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver”.

    well, i do believe that your words here are fitly spoken!…..

    .southern ontario apples were much afflicted by the lack of enough rain this year and so what you can buy are on the small size gut the sweetness of the apples is so good…every year i buy a bushel of apples for the christmas party that the spanish people from our church have and i must say that they enjoy fruits far better than sweets!

    ronnie! this is as good as the green post that you had!..just look at the different shades of green here on the leaves and of course the lovely oval golden green of the apples themselves!

    god bless you and keep sending me your posts in my email box…i so appreciate it. so much!…love from terry…


  5. Thanks so much for your kind comments and it is lovely to know that there are more apple and British apple lovers out there! I shall be following this Alphabe Thursday weekly post with great interest and what a fabulous idea too. Lovely photos too, Karen


    • You are more than welcome. I love your blog and am very remiss at not leaving comments to that fact. Your recipes are great and I can’t wait to make the apple and cheese scone bread. If I can’t find Vinny Blue, I can use Cornish Blue (a suggestion from someone who left a comment on your post) as I know they sell that in M&S


      • Thanks Ronnie, I can tell by my traffic stats that I have lots of visitors who stay a while and must enjoy my posts as recipes, but, it is always nice to to see comments to confirm that! Yes to Cornish blue cheese, or even blue Shropshire. I also write a monthly article for Sarah Raven, over at Garlic and Sapphire, that you may find interesting……. Plus there are other fabulous writers over there too. Just thought, if you can get hold of blue Wensleydale, that will work well in my apple scones recipe. Karen


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