I am spending a couple of days in a lovely little cabin in the bush just outside Stanthorpe, in south-east Queensland. The region is known as the Granite Belt, from its spectacular rocky outcrops, and it is an important region for the growing of cool-climate fruits and vegetables. It is especially well-known for its grapes (and wine) and apples. I intend therefore to feature the apple today, and grapes tomorrow.
I will start with the opinion of the author of yesterday’s featured book Prophylactic Feeding and Therapeutic Feeding (1909) - George Julius Drews.
Fruits are Nature's predigested foods. The APPLE is the king of fruits, because it is the most durably valuable and the most practical although it is not the most luxurious or luscious for the moment. Its special value lies in the fact that its better varieties, under, favorable conditions, can be kept all around the year. It has harmless stimulating properties. It is more nutritious than the potato and it is an excellent brainfood because of its large endowment of phosphorus. Let the children of all ages eat all the apples they crave. Those who eat apples freely are almost protected against all diseases, and especially jaundice, indigestion and torpidity of the liver, because it is very rich in sodium.
Apples were mentioned multiple times in the book, mostly as an ingredient in fruit salad, although there is also the following very minimalist idea:
Sandwiched Apples or Pears
2 or 3 oz. Apple or Pear slices sandwiched with, or only spread with,
1 ½ oz. Lemon Cheese, or Mock Cottage Cheese.
Next, a war-time hint from The Times (London) of December 2, 1940:
Never waste the peel and cores of your apples. Boil them in a little water, and you’ll have a delicious and very health-giving drink.
In the past, local ladies of Stanthorpe could have been expected to have a good apple-cookery repertoire - and it appears that they did.
From the Sunday Mail (Brisbane, Queensland) of 21 February, 1937:
The prize this week has been awarded to MRS. J. WILLMOT, of Dalvecn, Stanthorpe District, for instructions for making apple puffs flavoured with spice. This is a very economical recipe, but a delicious and tasty one.
Spiced Cider Puffs
Sift together ¾ lb self-raising flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and a saltspoon each of cinnamon and spice. Peel, but do not core, a large cooking apple, and grate with a coarse grater into the dry ingredients till a paste can be formed (no other liquid is required). Drop in a frying pan in spoonfuls in hot fat; fry until a golden brown. Drain and roll in sugar, to which a little cinnamon has been added.
From the Sunday Mail (Brisbane, Queensland) of 23 February, 1930:
CHUTNEY.— One and a half pound apples, 1 lb. ripe tomatoes, 1 lb. raisins, 1 lb. brown sugar, 1 oz. mustard, 1 oz. pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 quart wine gar. Peel and. quarter the apples, and tomatoes, chop raisins (seedless) finely, boil all together, stirring well, for 2 hours over a slow fire or gas. — Mrs. S. (Stanthorpe).