THE “FROZEN-THAWED” APPLE.
Toward the end of November, though
some of the sound ones are yet more mellow and perhaps
more edible, they have generally, like the leaves,
lost their beauty, and are beginning to freeze.
It is finger-cold, and prudent farmers get in their
barrelled apples, and bring you the apples and cider
which they have engaged; for it is time to put them
into the cellar. Perhaps a few on the ground
show their red cheeks above the early snow, and occasionally
some even preserve their color and soundness under
the snow throughout the winter. But generally
at the beginning of the winter they freeze hard, and
soon, though undecayed, acquire the color of a baked
Before the end of December, generally,
they experience their first thawing. Those which
a month ago were sour, crabbed, and quite unpalatable
to the civilized taste, such at least as were frozen
while sound, let a warmer sun come to thaw them, for
they are extremely sensitive to its rays, are found
to be filled with a rich, sweet cider, better than
any bottled cider that I know of, and with which I
am better acquainted than with wine. All apples
are good in this state, and your jaws are the cider-press.
Others, which have more substance, are a sweet and
luscious food, in my opinion of more worth
than the pine-apples which are imported from the West
Indies. Those which lately even I tasted only
to repent of it, for I am semi-civilized, which
the farmer willingly left on the tree, I am now glad
to find have the property of hanging on like the leaves
of the young oaks. It is a way to keep cider
sweet without boiling. Let the frost come to freeze
them first, solid as stones, and then the rain or
a warm winter day to thaw them, and they will seem
to have borrowed a flavor from heaven through the
medium of the air in which they hang. Or perchance
you find, when you get home, that those which rattled
in your pocket have thawed, and the ice is turned
to cider. But after the third or fourth freezing
and thawing they will not be found so good.
What are the imported half-ripe fruits
of the torrid South to this fruit matured by the cold
of the frigid North? These are those crabbed
apples with which I cheated my companion, and kept
a smooth face that I might tempt him to eat.
Now we both greedily fill our pockets with them, bending
to drink the cup and save our lappets from the overflowing
juice, and grow more social with their wine.
Was there one that hung so high and sheltered by the
tangled branches that our sticks could not dislodge
It is a fruit never carried to market,
that I am aware of, quite distinct from
the apple of the markets, as from dried apple and
cider, and it is not every winter that produces
it in perfection.
“Hear this, ye old men, and
give ear, all ye in-habitants of the land! Hath
this been in your days, or even in the days of your
“That which the palmer-worm
hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the
locust hath left hath the canker-worm eaten; and that
which the canker-worm hath left hath the caterpillar
“Awake, ye drunkards, and weep!
and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the
new wine! for it is cut off from your mouth.
“For a nation is come up upon
my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are
the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek-teeth of
a great lion.
“He hath laid my vine waste,
and barked my fig-tree; he hath made it clean bare,
and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white....
“Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen!
howl, O ye vine-dressers!...
“The vine is dried up and the
fig-tree languisheth; the pomegranate-tree the palm
tree also and the apple-tree even all the trees
of the field are withered: because joy is withered
away from the sons of men."