This coming Saturday, March 11th, is Johnny Appleseed Day.
Johnny Appleseed, of course, is one of the more popular American myths and legends. The tale goes that he went around the country planting apple seeds. The truth, of course, is a little bit broader than that. In fact, apples had been in use and their cultivation widespread long before his birth. The fruit was a favorite among colonials long before the American Revolution because of the diverse types and the fruit’s versatility, so Appleseed was not necessarily responsible for its popularity.
Appleseed was born John Chapman on 26 September 1774 in Leominster, Massachusettes, to John and Elizabeth (Simonds) Chapman. He was actually an orchardist, planting nurseries in the states of Pennyslvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He would leave these nurseries in the care of a neighbor who sold the trees to shares, and then Appleseed would return every year or two to tend the nursery. While he traveled and worked, he served as a missionary for The New Church (Swedenborgian). He never married, and he died at 70 years of age on 18 March 1845, having planted acres and acres of orchards in the mid-west.
Now, I love apples. I love the red, shiny gloss of the peel. I was fascinated, as a child, by the green of the Granny Smith Apples. And, of course, there are the varieties – Macintosh, Lady Pink, Red Delicious, Fuji, and on and on. Wikipedia reports there are over 7,500 cultivars worldwide, making the apple one of the most versatile fruits around.They are bred for various tastes and uses, including cooking – apple pie, applesauce, apple cobbler, apple pie tansy, etc., eating raw, and for the making of cider.
And every one of those, before being made into a recipe, needs must be peeled.
And I hate to peel.
I get too much of the apple with the peel. I never get close enough to the core. There always seems to be a large quantity needed even for a simple apple pie. And heaven forbid, if I don’t get the apple chunks into the batter fast enough and they begin to brown. Where are lemons when I need them?
That’s why the following Apple Cake Recipe is a favorite of mine. You do NOT have to peel the apples.
That’s right folks! You can cut up that apple around that core and dump those chunks into the batter.
And so, in honor of Johnny Appleseed Day, and the fact that I can have my apple fix without the pain of peels, I now share this recipe with you.
Enjoy – and Happy Johnny Appleseed Day in two days!
Delicious Apple Cake
Beat 2 cups sugar, 1 cup oil, and 2 eggs together well.
Add 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp soda, and 1 tsp nutmeg.
Add 2 cups chopped Delicious apples, finely chopped, but NOT peeled. Beat well.
Stir in 2 cups enriched all-purpose flour and 1 cup chopped black walnuts.
Mix well. Pour into a greased and floured tube or Bundt pan or a loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes.
I did find two dates for Johnny Appleseed Day. The first was his birthday on 26 September. Another is this coming Saturday, March 11th.
Wikipedia, Apple, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple.
Wikipedia, Johnny Appleseed, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Appleseed.