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October 15, 2008

End the Slander of the Apple! (Cheddar Cheese Will Help)


Let us show a little affection for the maligned apple.


Maligned, you say? Maligned and horribly slandered.


Perhaps your eyebrows cock slightly, but you have heard these slanders uttered and perhaps even contributed to their spread. The better question is how we have rendered to such a versatile and sweet fruit the qualities of a repulsive beast.


It is the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” that has impugned the apple. It’s the notion that you may cause doctors to shun you through the application of fruit that has so slandered the apple.


Let us bring together these two formidable forces for good – and we know that in its heart, the apple wishes only to do good – through the kind of trickery found most commonly on situational comedies.


Start by coring the apples, which is to say cutting out the middle part and removing the seeds and then horizontally slicing the apple. There should be a little hole in the middle, as if you have just made yourself a donut rather than cutting an apple.


Lay these slices in the bottom of a shallow baking dish, and turn your oven to 350 degrees. As things stand, you will trick no doctors by presenting them with the apples in the baking dish, even if baked. The doctor will look at them, deduce that they are indeed apples and – if old-timey phrases are to be believed – flee in terror.


What you will need is a disguise for the apples; something more appropriate than a wig and a fake moustache. Might I suggest cheddar cheese?


Cheese is a natural disguise, because it offers a color barrier. While it can be argued that seaweed paper likewise does that, cheese has the added benefit of actually tasting good.


This, unfortunately, will not suffice as a proper disguise. According to the rules of disguising one self – and there is a tome as thick as any that could be found anywhere governing the rules of disguises – you must have at least two components to have any hope of tricking someone.


We start by laying down a light dusting of cinnamon and sugar directly to the apple slices. Over those, you add some crushed walnuts and raisins. Finally, you lay down slices of cheddar cheese over the top.


Once you have done this, you may look into the pan and be surprised that you do not recognize the apple slices at the bottom. In fact, there is a good chance that you may mistake it for a fish filet and begin preparing a light tartar sauce.


Eventually you will need to correct yourself, and put away the tartar sauce, because that does not go well with our disguised apples.


Bake your apples for about half an hour, until the cheese has melted and formed around the ingredients. This is more than enough to fool any doctor who wanders too closely to your home, and will help to restore the blemished good name of the apple.


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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