Words to the Wise: Sharing Life, Lessons, and Observations

Words to the Wise is a collection of stories, observations and insight drawn from my own experience both in the past and in the present, together with my perspective on what I may have learned in the process. Occasional poetry and astrological insights will be included when appropriate. I welcome comments, suggestions and thoughts of all kinds and am happy to respond.

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Comfort Me with Apples

An apple a day has many health benefits and tastes good too! As I write this, I can smell the applesauce cooking in my slow cooker. Made from unpeeled, cut apples, and simmered a while with half cider and half water, to cover, my applesauce needs no further seasoning or sweetening. Once cooked, I put it through my trusty food mill—I picked mine up at a yard sale, however they are available both in stores and on the internet. The money you save on canned or otherwise processed applesauce will soon pay for the food mill and your applesauce will be more nutritious.


The peel contains much nutritional value. This is lost in most if not all commercial applesauce. As to apples themselves, the old adage about an apple a day is confirmed by research on the internet. Astonishingly good for you, raw apples have an enormous health benefit ranging from vitamins, minerals, and fiber to a low calorie content. The fiber is also said to be more satisfying and in studies with people using apples as a snack showed them losing weight compared with those using foods o equal calorie value. Cooked apples also have many benefits.  


According to the internet, apples received a bad rap in the story of Adam and Eve because of a pun. In the original Biblical writings, the substance Adam and Eve consumed that got them ejected from the Garden of Eden was simply a seed bearing fruit: a fig, a pomegranate or even a pear. However, when Jerome was instructed by his pope to translate the Bible into the Vulgate, i.e. into Latin for church use, he made a scholarly joke. The Latin name for apple is malus. This word translates both as evil and as apple. Thus the poor apple became potentially perceived as evil.


There are many good reasons to enjoy apples, and many ways to prepare them. Sauteed apples and onions as a side dish takes them out of the category of dessert. Here's another: Apple Squash Bake, created when I had to stretch one acorn squash to serve 4 instead of 2. Preheat oven to 325; butter a 9X13 glass baking dish. Alternate peeled slices from 1 or 2 apples and 1 acorn squash, halved and sliced. Mingle ¼ cup honey or maple syrup, 3 Tbs soft butter, 1 Tbs prepared mustard (optional but good) and pour over them. Bake 45 minutes at 325 and serve.  Enjoy!


Your food can be your medicine. Apples are both. Apple cider, now available all year round, is a healthy drink as well. I often use it in recipes I make with apples and also as an alternative liquid to milk in puddings such as tapioca. I am always grateful for the apples that appear on the farm stands in the fall. It is a wonderful treat to go driving in the country to one of these, knowing you will most likely find something beyond the somewhat boring supermarket offerings. So called "Delicious" apples, to me have almost no taste, and Macintosh apples are often mushy when cooked. My best applesauce is made with several varieties combined. Enjoy the lovely fall and its wonderful, nutritious, fresh local apples.




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Practical mystic and poet Tasha Halpert writes a column called Heartwings Love Notes for a Joyous Life, as well as a monthly astrology column for the internet. She writes a weekly perspective column for the Grafton News called Good Earthkeeping.  Her poems and essays have appeared in Quest Magazine, For the Love of Life, Heart and Wings, The Unicorn, and other publications. She is staff poet and storyteller for the Unicorn, and a regular part of Granny Moon’s Morning Feast. Her book Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life is available; She has another in preparation: Up to my Neck in Lemons, as well as a poetry chapbook: Poems and Prayers. With her writings she hopes to be of help and comfort and perhaps even entertaining.  With her husband Stephen she lives in Grafton and is the mother of 5, grandmother of 7, and great grandmother of 2.  


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