A taste of apples and some tales too…

Who does not love a good apple? I was first introduced to apples in salads by my godmother who put chopped apples in her salads. From there I began putting them in tuna fish and meat loaf. It is an amazing way to get fruit into children and non-fruit lovers without them even realizing it. Apples can be used from appetizers through entrees and finished with a delicious apple pie or tart. They are also a great snack with cheese after school or work. There are so many varieties to choose from – Granny Smith for tart to Pink Lady for sweet. So enjoy my latest cookbook.

Johnny Appleseed

The man credited with establishing apple orchards throughout the Midwest was born in Leominster, MA and then spent part of this youth in Longmeadow, MA. John Chapman, or Johnny Appleseed, collected apple seeds from cider mills, dried them, put them up in little bags, and gave them to everyone he met who was headed West. For forty years he traveled through the Midwest. He did more than just plant apple seeds. His dream was for the land to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. He led a very simple life but after his death at 75, it was learned that he owned and leased considerable land planted with, what else but, apples. It is estimated that he traveled 10,000 square miles of frontier country

A Fruit for the Gods

In Norse mythology, it is the symbol of eternal youthfulness. In Greek and Roman mythology, apples were the symbols of love and beauty. Inadvertently, it was the cause of the Trojan War. Here is how that tale went, the Greek goddess of discord, Eris, became upset when she was excluded from the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. In retaliation, she tossed a golden apple inscribed “Kalliste meaning for the most beautiful one”, into the wedding party. Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Paris of Troy was appointed to select the recipient. Hera and Athena tried to bribe him, but Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta and the war was on.

Apple Pecan French Toast


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium Jonathan or McIntosh apple, Peeled and shredded
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 loaf Challah bread cut into twelve 1-inch slices
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • maple syrup


  1. Combine the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, apple and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl; stir to combine.
  2. Coat the bottom of a 12×8-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or brush with melted butter. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer in the pan. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Turn the bread slices over to coat the other side. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the pecans over the top and drizzle with the melted butter.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bread slices puff. Serve with maple syrup.

Serves 4-6
Hometown Recipes for the Holiday (2007)

a taste of apples

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