Thursday, August 26, 2010

The (Crab) Apple Saga, Part 1: A Drive in the Country

It all started last Thursday when I somehow got roped into driving into the country to a Mennonite farm (past Conestogo, for those of you familiar with Waterloo's surrounding areas) to pick up a bushel (or a half-bushel? I don't know, but it was a lot) of crab apples for a couple of my favourite ladies, one of whom (Lady #1) came along for the ride. The drive, it should be mentioned, involved several additional stops at other Mennonite produce stands and the like, and then a detour through St. Jacob's to Heidelberg, just to "see if they have Concord grapes." I briefly wondered whether a phone call might be more efficient than a 15-minute detour to suss out such information, but decided to let that one go.

Anyway, an hour later, we arrived home with heaps of fruity goodness. I carted it all down to the basement to await its canning fate, when Lady #2 (the older and ornerier of the pair) came down to inspect the goods. She picked a crab apple out of one of the (three full) bags and looked at it. Critically.

"These are not crab apples."

"Oh, hm, OK. Do you want me to take them back or something?"

(Tossing the apple back into the bag in disgust.) "These are not crab apples."

"OK, well, all of this only cost $7, so maybe we could do something else with them, and get crab apples somewhere else?"

(Shaking head.) "These are not crab apples." (Mumbling in disgust.) "How could a Mennonite farmer not know what a crab apple is?"

At this point, Gentle Reader, the euphoric effects of my recent country drive had worn off, and not only was I faced with an abundance of rejected non-crab apple apples, I was late for my lunch date. So I did what any over-committing person in my position would have done: I vowed to take the lemons (read: non-crab apple apples) that life (read: an ignorant Mennonite farmer) had handed us, and make lemonade (read: applesauce).

Stay tuned for The (Crab) Apple Saga, Part 2, in which our protagonist visits at least two farmers' markets in search of the elusive produce, and turns rejected fruit into your Christmas present.


Candace said...

I'm confused. What can you do with crab apples? Because I'm looking out my window at a crab apple tree right now. At least, I think it's a crab apple tree, I probably don't know better than a Mennonite farmer.

Jenny said...


I can totally see how this played out and can totally relate.
I too, have driven a very special Lady (who you know all too well) all over Woolwich Township looking for eggs, apples, pies and the "right" Mums, and other random goods from many a Mennonite farm. Let me tell the charm of such an excursion can lose it's lustre, particularly when all is available in one place at the Farmer's Mkt on Thursdays and Saturdays!

Ahhh, welcome home! xo, Jenny