Posts Tagged ‘apple blue cheese spread’

Apple Picking

Friday, October 2nd, 2009
Tinky with apple web 
But I am done with apple picking now.
This line from Robert Frost’s “After Apple Picking” always moves me.
The poem speaks about the end of much more than apple picking–perhaps life, perhaps the creative process.
The speaker in the poem is weary of apple picking and, it seems, of existence–yet he is haunted by the destiny of the apples that remain unpicked.
“After Apple Picking” embodies perfectly the bittersweet time we’re about to enter here in New England.
It’s true that, if they’re not picked, soon even the loveliest and most perfect of apples will be pressed into cider or left on the side of the road for wild creatures to enjoy. The animals will nibble and then move on, leaving the once glorious apples sad and half eaten.
As our lives grow colder many of our relationships, hopes, dreams, projects, and loves will suffer similar fates.
Fall is about making transitions, about taking stock. As the harvest moon rises (as it will on Sunday) we sum up and evaluate what we have reaped over the summer.
Have we put up enough food for winter? Have we shared enough meals, enough money, enough laughter? Have we stacked enough wood for the coming months? Are our bodies fit enough to make it through winter’s darkness and ice?
We ask these questions not just as individuals but also as a community and a society. We donate more food, more clothes, more money for fuel and medicine as winter approaches.
I appreciate this time of reflection and want to honor it. Nonetheless, I can’t join Robert Frost in being done with apple picking.
I want to keep picking and eating apples, both literally and metaphorically. I want to make apple dishes and share them with friends and neighbors and readers.
I want to keep trying to improve my cooking, my writing, my relationships, and my world.
I’m not ready to be “overtired of the great harvest I myself desired.” Maybe this means I’m immature. Maybe it means I’m not a true Yankee. Whatever it means, I’m stuck with it.
Join me in picking and celebrating apples! Let’s keep as many as we can from the cider press and the gutter. We can treasure them in our root cellars, our kitchens, and our spirits.
As time goes by I’ll be sharing more recipes I’ve been enjoying as I engage in apple picking this early autumn.
I begin with the first of two apple-cheese spreads for which I have concocted recipes. I created it last fall, but somehow it didn’t make it onto this blog, which is a shame. It’s simple, and it combines two of my favorite foods.
If you use really great blue cheese — think Stilton or Roquefort! — this spread for crackers will be truly elegant. It’s pretty tasty with generic blue cheese, however.
You may be tempted to add a little more apple, but if you do you’ll end up with a rather wet spread.
Happy fall…………
(Courtesy of Susan Hagen)

(Courtesy of Susan Hagen)

Simple Apple-Blue Cheese Spread
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons sweet butter
2 large apples (about 2 cups), cored and sliced (but not peeled)
4 ounces (about 1 cup) blue cheese, crumbled
1 8-ounce brick cream cheese, softened
In a small, nonstick frying pan, sauté the onion pieces in the butter until they begin to soften. Add the apple pieces. Cook and keep stirring until they are slightly soft as well. Beat the cheeses together with a mixer or wooden spoon. Stir in the apple-onion mixture. Place the mixture in a bowl. Chill for at least 1 hour; then bring the spread to room temperature before serving. Makes about two cups.
Keep this spread refrigerated for up to three or four days, but be sure to bring it to room temperature again before you eat it to optimize flavor and texture.