Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Of the species malus angustifolia indigenous to the southeastern region of the United States, the crab apple is an unsung hero.  Why, you may ask?  These wild, sour tasting yet aromatic fruits serve as a metaphorical backdrop to our daily lives!  

Crab apples are raw, tough, and the crabtree is stalwart and craggy, which blooms and bears fruit no matter the condition of winter months before. The crab apple is here to stay, its tree is a loving fixture that stays in the background supporting and witnessing the world around it. 

The crab apple is a faithful companion to many.

Crab apples hang in clusters, they do not present as alone, instead they are strong, solid, social and pretty in color. As a child, we had a crab apple tree in our backyard, it was hidden and at times overwhelmed by other trees, but nonetheless year after year it would drop its fruit each autumn, showing to all that may be interested that it had a bountiful summer, and now nature must fulfill its cycle and yield what it had nourished since spring.

courtesy of Moonwise Herbs
We also had black angus bordering our property, as children we were told to never venture into the pasture of black angus, they were dangerous and not to be messed with.  

Photo credit by KingandIangus.com

They were quite mysterious to me, those huge lumbering beasts.  Could there be synchronicity of the crab apple species malus angustifolia in our yard and the black angus beyond the wood?

My mother once made a crab apple pie from this woody fruit, looking for the most ripe we picked the ones from the ground as they would be the sweetest, and washed the crab apples, then we sliced and sliced some more these tiny little orbs till my mom worked her magic and created a pie.

It was piping hot, and very sour. We ate it anyway!  It was fresh from our yard, we could truly call it our own. And my mom's spices and lattice topping made it all the more special. Lots of brown sugar too, I think!

The take away here? Appreciate the little things around you, autumn is here in all its splendor, breathe in the crisp air, and if you have a crab apple tree make that pie and add LOTS of brown sugar!!

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