Hi Everyone! Welcome back to school, work, autumn, spring or the new season of Oprah–whichever applies to you! September also brings us another SOS Kitchen Challenge, the monthly recipe event hosted by Kim of Affairs of Living and me. Kim is a big fan of autumn while I, as you may recall, think of it as one dreaded step closer to winter. But what we do have in common is a love of this month’s SOS ingredient! I’ll hand it over to Kim, who wrote our SOS introduction this month:
Up here in the north, mornings are getting cooler, the leaves are starting to look slightly more golden, and the gardens are delivering all their bounty, urging us to preserve food for winter. Soon it will be time for warm stews and soups. But before we pull out our winter gear, we have the golden days of autumn ahead of us.
This month’s SOS Kitchen Challenge features one of the tastiest foods of early autumn, a fruit that is delicious, nutritious, and has appeared prominently throughout history. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree that bore these fruits, resulting in God banishing them from the garden and punishing all of mankind by cursing women with painful labor and childbirth (um, aren’t you glad that doesn’t really happen when we have a fruit craving?). Some millennia later, William Tellwas challenged to shoot an arrow through one of these fruits on top his son’s head, in exchange for his freedom from some pesky Austrian emporers. Not so long after that, Isaac Newton formulated that whole notion of gravity by watching one fall off a tree. And most recently, one of these little beauties put the legendary Snow White to sleep.
That’s right friends, we are featuring none other than the humble apple this month.
[image courtesy Affairs of Living]
A Not-So-Brief History of Apples
Originally from Eastern Europe and southwestern Asia, apples are an ancient fruit loved by people since prehistoric times. Carbonized remains of apples have been found by archaeologists in Swiss prehistoric lake dwellings, dating all the way back to the Iron Age! There is also evidence that shows European Stone Age peoples preserved apples by slicing and sun drying them. Here is a bit of additional interesting apple history from World’s Healthiest Foods:
Apples have long been associated with the biblical story of Adam and Eve, although there is actually no mention that, in fact, the fruit in question was actually an apple. In Norse mythology, apples were given a more positive persona: a magic apple was said to keep people young forever. Apples’ most recent appearance in history occurred in the 1800s in the U.S., when Johnny Appleseed-a real person named John Chapman, despite the mythological quality of his tale-walked barefoot across an area of 100,000 square miles, planting apple trees that provided food and a livelihood for generations of settlers.
Apples often appeared in Medieval and Renaissance artwork to symbolize contemptuous earthly desires and denote the fall of mankind (there’s that old Adam and Eve story again). It was also used as a symbol of love and sexuality, of youth and immortality, and rather conversely as a momento mori, an object meant to remind you of your mortality and inevitable death. And let us not forget the slew of still life paintings that feature apples: I don’t know what all those Spanish and Flemish still life painters would have done without them! But it didn’t stop there – where would we be without Paul Cézanne’s apples? Cézanne painted hundreds upon hundreds of apples, developing a new approach to form that inspired artists like Matisse, Picasso, and many other twentieth century artists. He is famously quoted as saying “I will astonish Paris with an apple!” after all.
Art history nerd, guilty as charged.
[image courtesy Affairs of Living]
Want to Participate in the Challenge?
If you’d like to participate in the challenge, all you need to do is create a new recipe and submit it through a link form below (no more emailing!). Please be sure to link up to this page and mention the SOS Challenge in your blog post. And feel free to use the SOS badge, too!
Then just add your name and a title for your recipe to the form below. Your link will automatically display a photo and will direct readers to your blog. We’ll leave the form open until the end of the month, just in time for the next SOS Challenge!
Please remember to follow the rules – vegan, no refined sugars, and natural, whole foods ingredients only – or at the very least, make sure you offer reliable substitutions for those things in your recipe if you use something else. Entries that don’t meet these requirements will be removed from the linky list.
We look forward to seeing what you create this month, and check back often to see all the great submissions to this month’s SOS challenge!
Note: We appreciate your submissions and would like to include them all, but sometimes have to remove an entry from the list. The most common reasons are:
- No link to this post. Even if you mention the SOS Challenge in your post, without a live link to this post, the entry doesn’t qualify.
- You link to an old recipe. We only accept recipes that are created for the challenge.
- You include ingredients that aren’t part of the challenge. Most often, the inclusion of cane sugar (UNrefined evaporated cane juice is okay, but not regular sugars), eggs, cow’s milk, or other animal products will disqualify an entry.
If none of these applies to you and your entry was removed, please contact me in case a mistake has been made! Thanks, eveyone!
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