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September 12, 2014     Post-Gazette
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September 12, 2014

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, SEPTEMBER 12,2014 For me, nothing better are enough to weather the ----o signifies fall than taking upcoming winter. My father by Sal Giarratani a bite out of a crisp, juicy apple. Even the tangy smell of apples, especially when it is mixed in with cinna- mon, is enough to conjure memories of cool fall days and sun-soaked orange leaves. As soon as Septem- ber morning's dawn misty and fresh, I know that it is time for apples to make their way back into my pantry and recipes. Apple cider, glowing with the color of amber, remains a mainstay in my refrigerator until the winter, refreshing me with its sweet-tart taste. I scour cookbooks and magazines to fad new ways to incorporate apples into cakes, pies and crisps -- and even savory dishes. As the quintessen- tial fruit of autumn, first appearing in August and rip- ening late into the season, it is little wonder that many people, like myself, crave apples this time of year. However, apples also contain a much more significant role in folklore, mythology and culture. Whether growing in a New England farm or in the gnarled orchards of Northern Italy, apples offer a wealth of symbolism that enriches the meaning of fall. Perhaps that is what we really crave when we think of apples, that con- nection to antiquity and our ancestors. The most famous example of apple symbolism stems from the fruit's prominent role in the Adam and Eve story, although the forbidden fruit is never actually iden- tified as an apple in the Bible. Apples also appear in many mythologies that pre-date Christianity. The ancient Greek demigod Heracles -- known as Her- cules to the Romans -- sought to pick golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides as one of his Twelve Labors. The Trojan War of legend began when the Trojan prince Paris offered an apple to Helen of Sparta for being the most beautiful woman in the world, angering the god- desses Hera and Athena. In Norse mythology, where the apple tree was considered a sacred symbol of rebirth, a goddess named Idunn was in charge of guarding the apples that kept the deities immortal. Celtic mythology explains that the mysterious island where the legendary King Arthur recovered from his wounds was known as Avalon, or the "isle of apples." This all goes without men- tioning the many times apples appear in fairy tales, most famously as the delec- table fruit used to tempt Snow White by the evil Queen. Apples further abound in rituals and superstition. An Irish tradition states that if a girl manages to peel an apple in one long continuous strip and throw it over her shoulder, the shape the peel takes would reveal the first initial of her future spouse. Eating an apple in front of a candlelit mirror could also expose a distant love. As one of the hardiest fruits of the season between summer and winter and a prime source of sustenance, the seemingly humble apple has acquired a large signifi- cance in many folk traditions and lore. Apples, in all their splen- dor and lore, remind me of my annual apple-picking excursions with my family. Every year, when late Sep- tember rolls around, we all trek to a small family-owned farm to gather these jewel- hued fruits. These trips truly feel like a voyage back in time, to an epoch where the simplicity of community binds and a ready harvest reigned supreme. From the rickety hayrides that get us to the orchard to the silky apple cider donuts that await us when we finish gather- ing the apples, this yearly event always reassures me that the love of family and the gift of nature's bounty Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building has expressed that visits to the apple farm transport him to his bucolic childhood in the Italian countryside. Dad grew up in the mountainous region of Abruzzi in central Italy, and picking harvest fruits and vegetables formed a regular and essential part of his childhood. In Italy, apples are known as mele and may grow all over the peninsula, although the most famous Italian apples hail from the northern Trentino-Alto Adige region. Italians use apples in des- serts as varied as cakes (torta di mele) and strudels inspired by their German neighbors to the north. Italians have also been known to enjoy apples in savory treats. In her book Festa, author Helen Barolini marvels at the simple yet delectable pairing of an apple slice with a sliver of buttery, salty Pecorino-Romano cheese. In Italy as in the United States, the act of lovingly baking apples into meals that will nourish the sole and har- vesting these fruits with the family imbues renowned symbolism into the apple. They become so much more than an autumn staple and turn into a harbinger of the communal, cozy feasts that characterize the season. This fall, by all means enjoy apples in all of their wonderful varieties -- fresh and juicy off the tree, refresh- ing in a cider, warm and comforting in a baked good. I am already counting down the days when I can sit down with a piece of my mother's famous apple pie, always made with the apples we gather on our farm excur- sion. What is important is that you enjoy these apples consciously, paying heed to their symbolism throughout the ages and their source of sustenance for the cold months to come. No matter how you enjoy them, apples will always remain an inex- tricable part of the autumn season and of the human story, a symbol of life in cul- tures across the globe. For in the beautiful fall days of September, life, in all its rhythmic and cyclical forms, is truly something apparent and exhilarating. Ally Di CensoSymynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at adicenso89@gmail, com. !ii!00i!!iiiiiii!!!iiiiiiiiii!iii!i!iiiiiiiiii!i!!ii00iiiiiii00i!ii00i00iiiiii00i00iiiiii0000i00 000000i00ii0000i00!i00iiiii0000i!0000000000i!!00000000000000000000ii0000iii00iiiiii0000iiii00iiii00iiii00iiiiiii00000000iiiii00iii0000ii00/ in00i0000a00i0000ii00iiiii!iiii!ii!i!ii!!ii!i!!ii!!!!!!!!iii!i:i!i!!iill he PosttGazete! Watergate was Pofitics, ISIS Threat Deadly, But Where is the Media Now? Recently someone had asked me, what would Presi- dent Reagan have done had terrorists beheaded U.S. journalists and I responded Reagan would have done NOTHING because things would never have reached that day. Apparently, just as President Obama is losing the confidence of the Ameri- can people here at home, he is considered more or less a joke president by our enemies around the world. Many folks say ISIS is a brutal force, far worse than ever seen before and posting beheadings on YouTube with the promise of more to come isn't about goating us into doing something. Rather it is about humiliating us in the eyes of the world as a helpless wimpy giant and not to be feared. We all know by now that President Obama is a control freak, which is why he is useless at a podium without the prepared remarks of his teleprompter. In Estonia on one hand, he says we will degrade and destroy ISIS. Then take away his script and it is shrink and manage ISIS. Two weeks ago, he stated we had no strategy yet. In Estonia, he gave us two completely different strategies. Things got so bad, they had to send out Joe Biden to do his pitbull impression when he ranted on about chasing ISIS to the gates of hell. How- ever, at the moment we can't even cross over the line into Syria. To me, talking about the gates of hell is like when Biden said Osama was dead and GM lives. All foolish talk. Meanwhile, the Moonbat liberals are all still blaming Bush for everything going wrong today. Worse over on MSNBC, these moonbats were even eating their own by blaming the two Ameri- can journalists for getting beheaded. After all, didn't they know the danger they were placing themselves in? Radical Jihadists are clear and present danger to the entire world yet everyone seems waiting for someone else to take the lead first. Obama is waiting for a regional coalition to act. Others are waiting for Europe to act. Obama looks like he is trying to lead from the rear. Meanwhile, Christians and other non-Muslims are get- ting killed because they belong to the wrong religion or group. The situation in northern Iraq and eastern Syria is a growing threat to the entire world. It isn't a regional issue, or a European issue, it is a worldwide issue and will not vanish of its own accord. Evil must be fought and won. As I have been watching Obama lately, he is remind- ing me of President Nixon in the early summer of 1974. He looked scary and now I am getting scared again. We need to have a president who can bring us together and inspire us. We don't need a president who looks hap- less and ill-equipped for the job at hand. Radical Jihadists say what they believe. They say America is their ultimate target. We see the evidence all around us. It may sound kind of in- sensitive but America can't start running around like a chicken with its head cut off. President Obama said the War on Terror must end. Well, the killing of two Americans on YouTube is an act of war on America. Unfortunately, the war con- tinues and the whole world including the U.S., cannot act like innocent bystanders any longer. f LUCIA RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 617.367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 78 I. 729.0515 I,,ivcde uncli(m ooms [r ntj Occasion Ckis|eninq B,,ill S[o,,,,,, B,:,lu SI,o,,,,,, Donato Fraffaroli donato @ J