Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Spoiled


     "Would you mind bringing the apples up for me?"
      Of course not. Anything to facilitate the creation of my wife's sublime chunky cinnamon applesauce, which enlivens lamb chops and other meals throughout the year. 
      The apple tree by our garden was extra bountiful this year, and the squirrels were so busy eating the seed that fell from our bird feeder, they left them pretty much alone. Over several days back in September my wife and I had plucked the yellow apples off the branches, depositing them in our downstairs refrigerator, where they filled two bins. 
     I trotted down to the basement, where we had stashed the apples.  It took three trips to ferry them upstairs in big bowls.
     Apples will stay a long time in cool conditions. But one had gone bad — it must have been bad going in and we didn't notice. A big soft brown circle the size of a half dollar. I left that one for last, tucking it on top of the third bowlful. Fun must be seized where one finds it.
     My wife was in the kitchen. I set the last bowl down, and took up the rotten apple.
     "There was one bad apple..." I began.
     She immediately launched into song.
     "One bad apples don't spoil the whole bunch, girl!" she warbled. The 1970s Osmonds song — I would have sworn it was the Jackson 5, but memory is faulty. Though honestly, listening to it now, I realized, for the first time: the Osmonds were a white bread ripoff of the Jackson. Ah. Of course. It never occurred to me before. Slow on the uptake.
     I froze, my eyes narrowing. She caught my hard expression.
     "What?" she said.
     "Really?" I said, hard-edged. "Are you going to deny me this?"
     It took her a second to understand — not slow on the uptake — and then readjust. 
     "Oh there was?" she began, feigning innocence. "That's too bad."
    "No it's okay," I countered, recovering, with not quite the joy I would have before, but getting the most I could out of my chance. "Fortunately ...  one bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl."
     I hated to make a fuss. But really, how often do you get the chance? It was now or never. While I avoid cliches in writing, I seek them out in life. Once, visiting New York City, I made a point of detouring into Grand Central Station, strode into the center of a vast terminal just so I could look around, spread my arms, and inquire, of no one in particular: "What is this, Grand Central Station?"
     Still, I was shaken that she knew where I was going with this, even before I got there. I think she's hanging around me too much. I'm starting to wear off on her. The poor woman.










19 comments:

  1. When soneone asks "Does anybody know what time it is?" I immediately (but quietly) start humming "Does anybody really know what time it is?" by the group Chicago. Strange? Apparently not. Thanks Neil for making me feel normal. Judy

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    1. I always answer: "Does anybody really care?" And "25 or 6 to Four" is about somebody who's taking speed during an all-nighter...they're trying to write a term paper. Been there, done that.

      My J-school professor was old and conservative. When my term paper about the '68 Convention riots turned into a left-wing rant, he was not pleased. It earned me a C-minus. But, hey, it was '69 and I was 21, just like Jackson Browne sang in "Running On Empty." And that night, I certainly was.

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    2. Robert Lamm, who wrote “25 or 6 to 4” has repeatedly said, you can go to songfacts.com as one source, that the song is about writing a song, not a term paper.

      Arthur

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    3. Twelve replies...out of 17 so far...by Anonymous...and four who signed their names as well. Wish more of you folks would do that...it's hard to keep track of who is saying what. Or you could just use your own names in the first place.

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    4. Inspiration? Who cares? It's a great song from the bands heyday, when they were still a Rock band, not a pop ensemble, a time before Terry Kath shot himself, depriving us of his innovative guitar playing.

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  2. I wish I liked applesauce, but I do appreciate a great cornball joke! Thanks.

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  3. “There's small choice in rotten apples.”
    William Shakespeare

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  4. Neil: Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and thank you for bringing me a thoughtful begiinning to almost every goddam day. Be well. Barry

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  5. 🚢🏽‍♀️Trans John/Karen 3/22November 21, 2023 at 7:43 AM

    Like yourself, if someone had started singing ‘One Bad Apple’, I would have thought ‘Oh yeah, Jackson Five.’ After all, it was written by George Jackson. Who wasn’t a member of the Jackson family, but he was Black, and a RandB and Soul artist and song writer and the Jacksons almost recorded it first. (Wikipedia is almost as wonderful an invention as Amazon.)
    Guess it’s all in theABC’s of production. The Osmonds? Really? I don’t care what they say, I don’t care what you heard. Why…that’s almost as silly as saying The Carpenters enjoyed huge success recording songs written by Leon Russell. (Well, they did, but don’t ever try to tell my sister that. Trust me.)

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  6. Replies
    1. My wife points out that it's an "old lady recipe" meaning the cook is not insulted with anything like quantities or times. Peel, core and slice your apples. Simmer them in water with cinnamon and brown sugar. Adjust those last two ingredients to taste. Make sure your mason jars are properly sanitized.

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    2. Thank you. I have to settle for store bought varieties. Any suggestions or avoidance (red delicious, Fuji?) I'm already planning on composting the exocarps; my delicate system can't digest.

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  7. Any chance we could have the recipe for that delicious looking applesauce?

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  8. I can tell by the comments that there are a lot of comedians here. I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving, and no bad apples.

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  9. Actually, the Osmonds were first (1962 on the Andy Williams Show) and the Jackson 5 was founded in 1964. But as to who did it better . . .

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  10. Built by the New York Central Railroad, it's actually the Grand Central Terminal, a terminal being a place where several lines converge. But New Yorkers affectionately refer to it as Grand Central Station. Non-New Yorkers throughout the 48 states came to know it by the Station name thanks to the popular radio program "Grand Central Station" that aired from 1937 to 1954. The program's introduction had the announcer (speaking over the sound effect of a pulsating engine), saying: "As a bullet seeks it target, shining rails in every part of our great country are aimed at Grand Central Station, heart of the nation's greatest city. Drawn by the magnetic force of the fantastic metropolis, day and night trains rush toward the Hudson River, sweep down its eastern bank for 140 miles, flash briefly by the long red row of tenement houses south of 125th Street, dive with a roar into the two-and-one-half mile tunnel which burrows beneath the glitter and swank of Park Avenue, and then (Train Sound: EEEEEEEESSSSHHHHssss): GRAND...CENTRAL...STATION! Crossroads of a million private lives! Gigantic stage on which are played a thousand dramas daily!"
    Danny M

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  11. Also delish in a fresh Waldorf Salad this time of year. We grow, can and enjoy applesauce too! And we are not fussy on the details too!

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    1. Also on ice cream. Apple pie ala mode without the crust. Sprinkle on some pecans or walnuts.

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  12. If you can't finish each other's sentences by somewhere between 1st date and 1st anniversary, you're married to the wrong person.

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