Archive for July 2006
At one time flocks of the ducks were “walked” the 40 miles to London to market, their feet protected by a coating of tar and sawdust, and accommodation being provided in special yards at inns along the way.
All the way from Aylesbury, in asphalt bootees!
If I may be permitted a bit of self-linking, it seems I’ve used the title of the previous post before. The post contains a link to the image results for a search for the word “apple” (library-scrumping?) in the New York Public Library’s Digital Gallery, which is worth looking at, indeed.
Some further apple-related links, as they occur to me.
(image from Foodnotes, cited below)
Some named cider apple varieties in alphabetical order, from Ukcider, a wiki all about cider in the UK.
A page about cider apples, from the Mount Vernon Research & Extension Unit of Washington State University.
More American apples, from Abernathy to Zoar.
(via Armintrout, Brightwater, Corps Choice, Elkhorn, Great Bearer, Honest John, and Ironclad. Thence to Kerr Greening and Klickitat. Not forgetting Ogle, Paragon, and Russian Baldwin. Passing by Upp and Via, to Weltry and Yakima).
And more still, from Foodnotes at foodhistory.com: Black Amish, Bottled Greening, Cowsnout, Disharoon, Esopus Spitzenberg (reportedly Thomas Jefferson’s favourite), Faust’s Winter, Graniwinkle, Limbertwig, Molly Whopper, Slack-my-Girdle (I think Herrick would have liked this one), Sunbriar…
Guy Davenport has something on Johnny Appleseed, I think, in Geography of the Imagination.
Sir Kenelm Digby, as one might imagine, has some good recipes for, and using, cider. See, esp., page 100.
Appelstroop (Dutch apple-paste) – as for instance made by Canisius, which comes in a beautiful tin, one of which (empty) I have on my desk at the moment. Delicious, sweet, stuff to have on your toast in the morning.
I wonder if Herrick had an orchard? Could do with a 17th century map of Dean Prior. Or, better still, Google Earth in time-travel mode…
What about Thoreau on apples? Here he is on blackberries.
Gilbert White, too. In his journals he cites a poem called Cyder, by a now forgotten poet called John Philips (1676-1708).
There is, I am reliably informed, a hidden site in the South London Borough of Lewisham where you may find the Warwickshire Dropper, and twenty-one other varieties of apple, along with “nectarines, quinces, walnuts, strawberry trees and loquats”. Perhaps even the ghost of Robert Herrick…
The anecdote can be a fragile thing. In 1809 Charles Lamb visited the village of Dean Prior in Devon, where the poet Robert Herrick had been the vicar. There he encountered Dorothy King, an illiterate woman aged 98, who knew stories about Herrick from her mother, a servant of Herrick’s successor in the parish. King told Lamb that Herrick “kept a pet pig, which he taught to drink out of a tankard”. Only this particular meeting – and King’s rare longevity – kept the story alive.
Source: Guardian review of The New Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes, edited by John Gross.
I’ll bet it drank cider, probably made from such apples as Sheep’s Nose, Brown Snout, Foxwhelp, and the like.
Robert Herrick, 1591-1674.
Here’s a sample of Herrick at his most ecstatic, surreal, even – a re-imagining of a church steeped in the natural world:
…His house of Rimmon this he calls,
Girt with small bones instead of walls….
Hard by, i’ th’ shell of half a nut,
The holy-water there is put:
A little brush of squirrel’s hairs
(Composed of odd, not even pairs)
Stands in the platter or close by
To purge the fairy family.
from Robert Herrick, The Fairy Temple, Or, Oberon’s Chapel
and, a little later in the same poem, there’s this:
…then, upon the Chanters side,
An Apples-core is hung up, dry’d,
With ratling Kirnils, which is rung,
To call to Morn, and Even-song
Update: here’s a shrewd estimation of him, “among the Goths” as he was, the rude parishioners of Dean Prior, with their rude, “unlovely names–Scobble, Mudge, Dandridge, Coone”, the parish on the southern slopes of Dartmoor “after London like the other face of the moon” – “Brio is Herrick’s particular distinction, and whether writing youth’s passion or going down with old age, he keeps our colors flying”, paying laconic tribute to “Nature’s undemarcated round”.
Sarsaparilla is a group blog devoted to discussing books, writing, film and television, theatre and the performing arts, music, publishing, the humanities, reading, cultural studies, and other things, from a distinctively Australian perspective.
It is also, of course, “the “good guy” drink of the early American western movies”, and here in the north-west of England, we drink it still, being white-hat sort of people. It’s also mentioned in this handy thread of things people miss most when they’re away from Lancashire.
Incidentally, the Australian National Dictionary of Biography is now online, with over 10,000 scholarly biographies of significant Australians who died before 1980 to browse through, from jelly manufacturers to sly-grog operators.