How do you like them apples

At 3pm on work days ‘Apple time’ descends.

It goes something like this; an organic apple is taken by the stash maintained by the fifth floor’s resident den mother. It’s cut into pieces and shared around. For a few minutes we lift our heads up from issue briefs, media releases and the delights of taking capital letters up and down. We stop, say thank you and eat a piece of apple. We think it’s good for morale. We even contemplated making a song about it.

Sometimes it’s a highlight of my working day. And not just because apples are great.

The emotional connection with apples cuts to the core. More than a mandarin, more than a banana, and much more than the sticky and obscure fruits of summer; an apple comforts.

Maybe it’s a mum thing. I remember standard rainy day Saturday lunches with mum where a dvd, cup of tea and a toasted turkish bread sandwich(with thick cut ham, small slivers of cheese, avocado and slices of tomato) would always be finished off with a piece of apple.

Maybe it’s an English thing. My granny’s fruit bowl always had an apple or two languishing about, waiting for the right weather for a ploughman’s lunch.

Despite three days of sunshine, cooler evening winds meant our recent jaunt up the coast crescendoed to a Sunday roast. After two days of pigging out on cheese plates, home made pizzas, lemon curd tarts, and bacon and egg rolls- interspersed with walks on the beach and glasses of champagne- it was time for food that was rib stickingly plain and soothing.

It that was a roast that ended up being ode to the mystical fruit- though it didn’t quite go as far as Paris’ Pomze.

Bring on roasted pork shoulder, with braised cabbage and apple, roasted parsnips and potato, stuffed yorkshire puddings and bastard child of apple-sauce and gravy. For dessert there was apple semolina pudding with boozy dates and caramel sauce.

Old wives may speak about the apple’s ability to keep the doctor away. Sadly, a week later, more than 50 % of the participants of the beach jaunt have come down with a virus or flu.

Though; if a part of the menu was going to fail our health, I’m delighted it was the apples, and not the pork.

Government regulations suggest those having direct contact with those with swine flu should take a week off work. That would mean missing a lot of apple time.

Apple semolina pudding with boozy dates

Take a cup and a half of dried dates. Put them in a saucepan with two shots of bourbon (that’s what we had on hand – better we cook with it than the boys drink it- but brandy or whiskey would be fine) add a couple of tablespoons of water and slowly simmer with a lid on until the dates wilt from excitement into a paste.

Cut four peeled apples into small slices and gently bake on baking paper, covered in brown sugar and little dobs of butter in the oven on 180 for 20 minutes, to soften.

Meanwhile, beat 150 grams of butter with 150 grams of caster sugar until fluffy. Add three eggs, beating one by one. Sift in 1 cup of plain flour, 2 tsp of baking powder and 1 cup of a cup of semolina. Add the zest of half a lemon and half a cup of milk to make a sticky batter.

Line the base of a greased cake tin with the apple slices. Dob on half of the boozy date paste. Top that with the cake batter and then add another layer of nicely placed apples with a landing strip of the remaining date mixture. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes until the pudding has puffed.

Serve with caramel sauce, ice cream and a smile.

  1. How civilised your workplace sounds. But oh how decadent your apple pudding sounds. Yum yum!

  2. Hi Tor,

    I awarded you in blogland. Play along if you want to. xxRach

  3. These days work is a little less civilised than it once was. I miss the days of haikus and screen printed tshirts Mama mogantosh…! And you KNOW I always want to play with you…!

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