September 26, 2012

Hay, It's Apple Day!

An apple. It is the original forbidden fruit. It is William Tell's favorite target. It is the poisonous sedative given to Snow White by the Evil Queen. Rumor has it that one of these eaten every day has the power to repel health care providers. It can go by the name Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cortland, Fuji, or McIntosh. Some are called Delicious. Others Honeycrisp. When cut crosswise, it has a star in its center.

Last Sunday, the historic Sherwood-Jayne Farm in East Setauket hosted the 23rd Annual Long Island Apple Festival. This day was dedicated to all things apple. There were apple pie contests. Apple relay races. Booths were set up selling apple sandwiches, warm apple crisp, caramel apples, apple bread, and homemade apple sauce. Another booth offered samples of hand-pressed, unpasteurized apple cider. At first sip, I found it to be a bit tart and pulpy, though not at all in a bad way. It definitely got me thinking about one of my autumnal favorites -- hot mulled cider. Yum.

The fair also offered a relaxing hay ride that rolled by a group of horses grazing in the field. While waiting in queue, I got the chance to be a little silly and give myself a head full of hay hair. I also enjoyed the Colonial campfire cooking demonstrations and the folk music on the barn stage. The performers, Larry and Mary, I know from poetry events at the Whitman Birthplace. I really like to hear Larry playing his hammered dulcimer. One other sight that I thought was really great was a Noah's Ark that I found at a woodcarving booth. Impressive detail.

Another highlight of the afternoon was the sheep shearing demonstration. As the buzz of clippers pervaded the September air, I watched the thick fleece of a large ewe coming off almost in one piece. Within five minutes, the animal was shaved clean. It looked kinda refreshed to be free of that heavy coat. I wondered if maybe a little bit of hay hair would be in order, but the sheep seemed much more interested in eating it than wearing it. May this week be the apple of your eye. Cheers!

"See to it
that no one misses the grace of God 
and that no bitter root grows up
to cause trouble and defile many."

~Hebrews 12:15