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When I was a child, you couldn’t have paid me to eat an apple. The bright red picture-perfect fruit was always disappointing. The waxy skin was tough and bitter and the inside was bland. I didn’t like the way the fruit felt in my mouth as I chewed. The Red Delicious apples that were in the grocery store, on my lunch tray at school or in the fruit bowl in the kitchen at home were the Kardashians of fruit: Pretty to look at but not much more than that.
It wasn’t until years later when I discovered other varieties, the Macintosh, the Gala and Fuji, the Braeburn and Honeycrisp, that I became an apple fan. The exact opposite of the apples I’d hated as a child, they were crisp and sweet and heavy with juice and I kept them in the fruit bowl and packed them in my own children’s lunches. I baked them, and made apple sauce. I sliced them, browned them in butter and sprinkled the caramelized slices with cinnamon before serving them on cool autumn nights. Once in a while I made a pie.
I began to hear more about heirloom apples, varieties that were old and in danger of disappearing completely, and the growers who were working hard to save them. It was hard to imagine that there had once been so many kinds of apple and some had disappeared completely while we were engineering fruit solely for appearance and durability.
But visiting the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska, I took the Discovery Ride around the farm, a 45-minute narrated wagon ride behind a tractor. We learned the unique story of the farm, the history of Arbor Day and the work of the Arbor Day Foundation, before stopping in front of the Preservation Orchard.
“Now, this,” our guide Carol told us, “is a special place.”
As she showed us the rows of heirloom apple trees, some still heavy with beautiful fruit, she talked about the farm’s dedication to preserving the old, and in some cases endangered, varieties. Some of the trees were marked and I read the names: Wheeler’s Golden Russet, Old Nonpariel, and Raine de Reinette.
There were others: the Wolf River apple, an apple so big one was enough for a pie. The Arkansas Black, with its distinctive purple color, and Esopus Spitzenburg, the orange-colored apple that was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite.
We were invited to choose an apple from any tree and I wanted to choose wisely, so I took my time, walking slowly between the rows of trees. I finally decided on an Opalescent. I liked the tree for it’s toughness, its branches had been damaged but the tree had borne well in spite of the injury, and, to be honest, I was intrigued by the oddly-elegant name. I reached up, let the apple rest lightly in my palm, and twisted it gently. The ripe fruit fell into my hand and I admired it for a moment before I took a bite.
The apple was dense and crisp and the flavor was surprisingly delicate, with just a hint of violets and strawberries. It probably wasn’t the rarest in the Preservation Orchard but it was a good choice for me.
Maybe that’s what is most important about places like the Arbor Day Farm Preservation Orchard. These trees and their fruit are part of our history. Our story. They are worth saving and sharing. You shouldn’t have to be all grown up before you taste something so good.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer whose audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of ‘Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons’ and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The new Miss America, Teresa Scanlan of Nebraska, poses for a picture after ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ in New York, this morning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Question: Is this the most beautiful woman in America?
SAN DIEGO — Jake Locker bounced back from an injury and scored on a 25-yard run in the third quarter, and tailback Chris Polk ran for 177 yards and a score to help the Washington Huskies to a 19-7 win over the listless No. 17 Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday night.
The Huskies (7-6) avenged a 56-21 loss to the Huskers (10-4) in Seattle on Sept. 18. The Cornhuskers piled up 533 yards of total offense in that game, including 383 rushing.
While Washington was a winner in its first bowl game since 2002, the Huskers came out flat in their second straight Holiday Bowl appearance. More here.
Have a feeling a few folks were suprised by this outcome. Were you?
It’s turkey time in college basketball, when teams participate in holiday tournaments and hope they’re not the main course. That’s our notebook for tomorrow, along with the start of keeping tabs on area players.
Gonzaga rolled at North Dakota, 83-45 as Katelan Redmon scored a career high 28 and Courtney Vandersloot had her second consecutive double-double of points and assists. Four starters were in double figures.
The Cougars gave Nebraska all it could handle Monday night in Pullman.
Nebraska’s Jared Crick (94) sacks Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle for an 18 yard loss, in the second half of their NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Sept. 11. Nebraska beat Idaho 38-17 in Lincoln, Neb. On Saturday, the Idaho Vandals nearly shut out UNLV of the Mountain West 31-7 in the Kibbie Dome, while Nebraska clobbered UWashington in Seattle 56-21. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)
Question: Is Idaho a better football team than University of Washington, based on their performances against No. 6 Nebraska?
Nebraska’s Roy Helu Jr. (10) tries to run past Idaho’s Homer Mauga (19), in the first half of their NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., earlier today. No. 6 Nebraska beat game Idaho 38-17 in a nonconference matchup. ESPN boxscore here. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver)
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini delivered two postgame speeches after the sixth-ranked Cornhuskers’ 38-17 win over Idaho on Saturday. “I told the defense that they played their tails off,” he said. As for the offense, he said, “They got a good you-know-what chewing.” Taylor Martinez ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns and Roy Helu Jr. had 107 yards and a TD, but the Huskers (2-0) committed four turnovers and had 10 penalties for 123 yards. The defense carried the day. The Blackshirts intercepted Nathan Enderle five times, with DeJon Gomes and Rickey Thenarse taking theirs back for touchdowns, and they recorded seven sacks against the Vandals (1-1)/Josh Wright, SR. More here.
- Nebraska picks off Idaho 5 times, registers 7 sacks/Associated Press
Question: Did the game live up to your expectations?
Bubblehead: Nebraska 45, Idaho 10. The Blackshirts are taking a while to come together due to the loss of two linebackers during the pre-season, but the pass defense is still pretty solid, and Idaho doesn’t seem to have much of a running game. I still think the Idaho can score 10 more points against the ‘Huskers than Pac 10 #2 Arizona did against them in the Holiday Bowl. Hopefully some U of I fans are able to make it to the game, and they can bring back some stories about how football fans are supposed to behave towards visitors.
Question: Care to predict the final score in the game between Nebraska and Idaho, which will begin early this morning? Or to comment on Bubblehead’s link that Nebraska knows how to treat visiting fans right? Do Vandal fans treat visitors right?
Although Enderle is from Nebraska, he expects little support from hostile partisan crowd. The Husker fans are overpowering. In 2009, Memorial Stadium packed an average 85,888 screaming fans in red and white in per game. Nothing less should be expected from this game with an already sold-out ticket stock, and Akey said to enjoy it — yelling, cussing and all. The Vandals know Nebraska is a strong opponent, but want to see where they can stand against them. Akey said all they can do is play as hard as they can, be proud of what they do and hope the scoreboard reflects it/Steven Devine, UI Argonaut. More here.
Question: Any predictions on the final score?
In this 2009 AP file photo, Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle passes over Washington linebacker Mason Foster during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Husky Stadium in Seattle. Enderle insists he won’t go into Saturday’s game against his home-state Nebraska Cornhuskers with an I’ll-show-them attitude. Enderle is from North Platte, 225 miles west of Lincoln on Interstate 80, and he said he lived and died with the Big Red as a kid. Story here. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)
- Crude explosive devices found outside Coeur d’Alene High/Alison Boggs, SR
- Ousted Montana Tea Party leader Ravndal seeks release/Matt Gouras, AP
- Boise soldier, others accused of keeping Afghan body parts/Mike Archibald, TNT
- Clark: Baton story fails to clear deputy’s conduct in shooting/Spokesman-Review
- Cost to rebuild tornado-damaged Billings Arena: $15M/Matt Hagengruber, Gazette
- U.S. Supreme Court denies stay of Washington execution/Associated Press
- Shadle Park teacher suspended for handing out hip-hop lyrics/Kevin Graman, SR
- Spokane’s still the Avis of Washington/Jim Camden, Spin Control
- Born w/o legs, MSU student skateboards to adventure/Gail Schontzler, Chronicle
- Oregon, OSU mascots make worst-behaved list/Seattle P-I Bleacher Report
- Orbusmax Special: Portland tolerates what other cities don’t here
- Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Online readers support Idaho’s game with No. 6 Nebraska, even though the Vandals could be exposed to serious injury. 154 of 190 voters (81.05%) supported the apparent mismatch this Saturday — and others against football powers in the future. Only 25 of 190 (13.16%) opposed the Vandals playing Top 10 football powers. 11 were undecided.
- Today’s Poll: Should the University of Idaho law school be moved from Moscow to Boise (as suggested by the Twin Falls Times-News)?
Later this week I’ll have a story on the financial ramifications of Idaho football’s scheduling. For now, though, here are a few details: The payout for Saturday’s Nebraska game, $800,000, is the largest the Vandals have ever received, according to athletic director Rob Spear. But the high mark won’t last long. Next year, UI is getting $850,000 to play at Texas A&M. And in 2012, LSU is paying the Vandals $950,000 to come to Baton Rouge. The previous high for a payout was $600,000 for the USC game in 2007 and Arizona in 2008, Spear said/Josh Wright, SR Sportslink.
Question: Is it in Idaho’s best interests to risk injuries to key players in a mismatch game with a powerhouse team like Nebraska, for an $800K payday (see today’s poll in lefthand rail, too)?
A Facebook friend sent this message from the University of Idaho re: spare tickets to the Sept. 11 game in Nebraska: “In order to comply with Nebraska’s ticketing policies and to ensure an equitable distribution of tickets; awarding of this new allotment of seats will be based on your LIFETIME GIVING TO U of I ATHLETICS. Requests for orders will be placed in rank of LIFETIME GIVING TO U of I ATHLETICS and tickets will be awarded until the allotment runs out or orders are fulfilled. Orders that are filled will have their credit cards billed immediately. Tickets will be shipped upon receipt of allotment from Nebraska.” Complete UI ticket announcement here. H/T: Sharkey Harrison
Question: Should UI allot tickets to the Nebraska game on a “lifetime giving” basis? How many Vandal fans do you think will be willing to travel to Nebraska to see this 9-11 contest?