Updated 2009-03-22 21:48:35 ID=347:0

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

An Apple or two a day, proven to help keep the doctors away!

"What's all the fuss about apples! They're nothing unusual", you might think. But with some additional information in the news recently, you'll learn otherwise.

From grade school on I've always been an "apple junkie!" There were lots of apple trees around growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan in Northern Indiana. There I learned about "Johnny Appleseed" and his quest to make apple trees common. By the way, there WAS a "Johnny Appleseed." His real name was John Chapman.

Locally, there were many Apple Farms with an abundance of apple varieties available every Fall -including ones that are not available here in California. In fact, my kindergarten teacher's dad developed the "Fenton Apple", an accomplishment that achieved hero-like status for him in my young mind. And those apples made especially good apple cider, not the stuff you find on the grocers' shelves, but very intense, non-filtered cider that was almost a meal in itself.

There are over 7500 varieties of apples, and it's one of the few foods imported and exported virtually everywhere world-wide. Somewhere in the world apples are in-season and apples are available all year long. Luckily with modern world-wide shipping and distribution, provided they have been properly handled and stored, the quality of these apples are very good.

Here in the United Sates, of the 2500 varieties grown, the most popular apple is the Red Delicious, which I personally think is not worth all the adoration. Coming up in popularity are the Gala, Johnathon, Honey Crisp, and Granny Smith. (The Granny Smith, in my Midwestern opinion isn't worth eating or using for cooking!)

I prefer apples derived from the Golden Delicious lineage. Examples of these are Gala, and Jonagold which is a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Johnathon. The Golden Delicious at its best is a deep golden-color with a sweet and slightly tart taste. It can be hard to find REAL Golden-colored Golden Delicious apples unless it's Fall and they're from an apple farm that has the "real McCoy." Most of the time out of season in California for example, you'll only see green-tinged Golden Delicious apples (an apple which is more like what a Granny Smith is supposed to be).

As I wrote earlier on this web site, I come from a long line of apple pie- bakers from the Midwest where we know apples! Most cooks preferred to use Golden Delicious in their pies, cobblers, holiday dressing, and desserts --not to mention "straight out of the bushel" for eating. They wanted sweet juicy apple slices that would cook-down nicely and hold its shape with an "al dente" -not rubbery texture. And oh did this variety make the most delicious slightly chunky applesauce! Who ever thought up the variety of "Granny Smith", must not have really ever experienced a real Golden Delicious or been an apple-purist! The real reason most stores carry the Granny Smith is because they store well and have a long shelf-life. Well, a brick stores well too, but you wouldn't want to eat one!

When I go grocery-shopping the first aisle I go to is produce --especially since we really center our meals around fresh produce. And the first thing I checkout there is the apple section. Lately, the local Albertsons apple section has been like a "candy-store is to a kid" for me. They have the biggest variety of good-tasting apples that I've experienced in a long time! Check them out for yourself. The Galas, Jonagolds, and Braeburns are really good and definitely worth their price of $1.50 per pound. As I've said before"they practically digest themselves!" But, don't waste your time on the Golden Delicious though, they are the green-tinged quality.

Research has shown that it is not a myth that the apple is one of the best fruit to eat.
Recently, a study has come out that has some convincing revelations about apples. First of all, there are many health benefits to eating whole raw apples. The peel contains one-fourth of the nutrients and fiber. The apple's balanced ratio of soluble versus insoluble fiber helps in the elimination of toxins from the body, keeping the body healthy. Eating an apple a day reduces the risk of lung cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Also regular consumption of apples helps the skin, G.I. tract. and prevent other cancers.

So in the future, don't discount the merits of a good apple. With the many varieties available year-round, and their added health benefits, apples are one of the best foods to eat!

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A tip from Sue!

Frying fish is not hard

Frying fish is not hard. The trick is to evenly coat the fish and allow the coating to set and dry a bit before frying. The purpose of the coating is to keep moisture in NOT absorb oil! To minimize oil absorption fry at a temperature between 350F and 400F max