Monday, October 1, 2007

Potatoes of the Trees

I’m just going to say this, knowing FULL WELL that I’m risking derision, disbelief and outright rioting:

I think apples are overrated.

Seriously. They just don’t do that much for me, either crisp and raw or mushy and cooked. Either way, my feeling is… eh. I’d rather have cheese.

Or potatoes.

Once upon a time I was in a community theatre production in Melbourne with my friend Clay. Clay and I were very good. The rest of the cast was… well, we hoped they would learn from our example. One evening, during a rehearsal that didn’t involve either of us much, she and I wandered outside to run lines and ended up having one of those conversations where two friends just get giddy with their own hilarity and start that pig-snorting laughing that just makes it all worse. There was no reason for us to get that giggly but we did. The subject of our conversation was apples. It went something like this.

Me: I think apples are overrated.

Clay: Oh yeah. I mean what’s the big deal. So it’s an apple. Psha.

Me: I like potatoes a lot better than apples. I’d rather have potatoes any day.

Clay: Potatoes are definitely a better food than apples. More versatile.

Me: You know how in French apples are called ‘pommes’?

Clay: Yeah. Where are you going with this?

Me: And they call potatoes ‘pommes de terre’… ‘apples of the earth’?


Me: I think it should be the other way around. Potatoes are more important…

Me and Clay simultaneously: Apples should be called the potatoes of the trees! YES! Potatoes of the trees!

Around this time our fellow cast-mates came out to find us snorty-pig laughing, barely breathing, red in the face, eyes watering – basically demonstrating very attractive, high performance thespian behaviors that they all should have tried instantly to imitate. Instead they looked puzzled and asked why we were in that state. We explained, gasping with renewed laughter, “Potatoes of the trees!!” and they continued to look puzzled.

I told you they were slow.

Anyway. Despite the inflated hilarity of the moment we invented the phrase, Clay and I still maintain to this day (a whole 10 years later, which boggles my mind) that Potatoes of the Trees are simply not as tasty or interesting as plain old potatoes.


I have, however, updated my opinion about apples somewhat. As a resident of New England I have finally been drawn into the annual autumn craze for apple picking and I have to say, it rocks.

Without having tried both, I still think it’s safe to say that apple picking is bound to be much more pleasant and satisfying than potato grubbing. In that sense, apples are definitely superior. (They are also more picturesque, and smell prettier in the uncooked state. See? Look how open-minded I'm being.)

It was a bee-yoo-tiful fall day yesterday. Sunny, crisp, cool, faintly scented with hay and apples. A group of us went to a pick-your-own orchard in central Massachusetts and, well, we picked our own. We drank cider. I picked lovely little small purply Cortlands, gigantic pink and yellow Honey Crisps, small green and red MacIntosh and red starry McKeowns. Of course, by the time I got them home I could barely tell them apart any more and last night I spent some time standing in my kitchen looking at what, for me, amounts to a LIFETIME SUPPLY OF APPLES and trying to figure out how I ended up with all those and what I will end up doing with them. I picked the smallest bag there was – a half a peck for the curious among you – and still. I am way over my apple limit.

I believe it may be time for my once-every-3-years apple pie.

And if you’re local, I may be giving away fresh-picked apples this week. Give me a call. Free potatoes of the trees if you're interested.


Whiskeymarie said...

I used to feel the same way, but for some reason lately I love love love apples. Maybe because it's apple season and honeycrisps are everywhere, I don't know.

"Potatoes of the Trees"- love it!

L-bean said...

There are people who prefer apples to potatoes? Really? Weird.

Pumpkin said...

I love potatoes, I love apples but I ADORE the phrase 'Potatoes of the tree'.....maybe you should copyright that incase some 'apple company namer' wants to steal it.

Oh, and if you fancy sending some apples my way, I'll take a bushel......maybe if he gets out numbered, my son will give in and try one of the damn things!!!!!!!