Apples are delicious. They are yummy with peanut butter, baked into tasty desserts, or all by their lonesome. This wonderful fruit has been around since the beginning of time, but apparently only in North America since the seventeenth century when they were introduced by colonists. The first apple orchard was reportedly planted in Boston by a reverend in 1625. Another report has them cultivated in Jamestown as early as 1607.
The only apples native to North America are crab apples. I did not know this, did you? Multiple sources report this, including smart university people, so it's probably accurate.
Did You Know? Thomas Jefferson is the "accidental" founder of the Fuji apple? It says so right here.
I've provided a delicious apple pie recipe link near the end of this post. I like the filling from the Natasha's Kitchen recipe, and the crust is a basic recipe I've been using for decades, also at the end of the post.
Montana's first known apple orchard was planted in the 1840s in the Bitterroot Valley, then commercial growing began in the 1860s. By the 1880s, apples were being shipped in train cars (Montana.edu), which means the Gallagher family would have been able to buy apples, known people who grew them, or had a few tree themselves. Oddly enough this post has made me realize that I don't specifically mention apple orchards in the Gallagher books, at least I haven't yet.
However, I do mention pie on a number of occasions. Elizabeth and Amanda bake them at the ranch and Tilly serves them at her café. A lot of folks in Briarwood would have enjoyed a variety of apple dishes, and they might have used a little molasses in their apple pies.
An Excerpt from Gallagher's Hope
(This excerpt is a short section not too long after Isabelle and Andrew arrived in Briarwood.)
“I like it, Ibby. I like all of the big fields, and there are lots of places to play outside instead of the small park where we used to live.”
Where we used to live. Isabelle squeezed his small hand. “I like it too, Andrew, I like it too.” With a soft sigh and a smile, she walked with her brother outside the schoolhouse and gazed at her surroundings. A person could certainly make a new beginning for themselves in a peaceful place like Briarwood. Isabelle wondered if she would get used to the quiet, though the night before had been one of the best night’s sleep in recent memory.
“What do you say we go on over to the general store, and perhaps we can get some pie over at the café?”
With eager enthusiasm, Andrew nodded his head, and they made their way across the meadow to the main street of the small town.
The dirt road beneath Isabelle’s feet was a new experience. She’d been to the countryside before, but within towns where she’d lived, the roads were paved. The sound of her city boots meeting the wooden planks as she ascended the steps of the general store brought a smile to her face. A world so different from everything familiar she’d ever known, and yet those differences gave her hope.
Excerpt © MK McClintock
I hope you make time every now and then to escape into a good book and relax. We are too often pressured to keep up grueling work paces, either from necessity or expectation, and forget that the quiet moments of peace are often even more important.
The Book: Gallagher's Hope, book two in the Montana Gallagher series.
The Beverage: Cold glass of milk
From the Kitchen: Homemade Apple Pie (pie filling at Natasha's Kitchen).
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About Writer in the Kitchen: I love to be in the kitchen. Once upon a time I was going to be a pastry chef, and though my life took a different path (glad it did), my love for baking and cooking has never gone away. I share original and test-kitchen recipes, (often with book breaks) and you can always find recipe links and posts organized on my recipes page.