I Am Crabby

What better treat to sweeten up a Grumpy Old Dude like me, than some lovely Crab-Apple jelly?

As an occasional treat, on nights that I post a blog, I have come to like a couple of Costco croissants, warmed in the toaster-oven, with crab-apple jelly and a mug of hot chocolate.

Several times in the course of our marriage, I have helped the wife make a batch of crab-apple jelly.  She initiates it, organises it, and gives directions, while I do most of the donkey-work, since I am so admirably qualified.  With a little luck, and some greed, I often get all or most of a batch.  It’s okay.  The wife prefers strawberry or red currant.  With some self-control and rationing, a batch lasts me several years

Crab-apple jelly is almost impossible to find in a grocery store, and when you do, it’s three or four times as expensive, because of shortage of crab-apples, and extra labor.  Near where the daughter once lived was a Mennonite church.  On the boulevard of the side street, they had planted four crab-apple trees.  At harvest time I just went over and picked enough.  A couple of years later I returned, to find that the city had widened the street, and destroyed the trees.

The home the daughter moved to, backs onto a community trail.  A block away, one house whose property also edged the trail, didn’t have a back fence – but they did have a crab-apple tree.  The owner graciously allowed me to harvest all I wanted – because then, he didn’t have to pick them all up.  A couple of years later I returned…. to find that the Region had widened and paved the trail, and removed the tree.

An occasional Mennonite at the Farmers’ Market MIGHT have a few six-quart baskets of crab-apples, if you get there at the right time, (I only had four baskets, and I sold the last one an hour ago.) but I might as well be paying for black truffles.  Two women offer jams and jellies of many flavors.  The wife bought a jar of red currant – which included some of the little twigs that the currants grow on.  I passed on their apple jelly.

Another man also offered a wide variety, including crab-apple jelly – at a merely outrageous price.  Real crab-apple jelly should be so clear, that you could read a newspaper through its red/gold beauty.  This stuff was more apple sludge, full of unfiltered apple fiber.

This is the cost of old age – having to live in the big city, close to all the medical support.  I’ll bet if I lived in my small home-town, I’d know someone with a crab-apple tree or two.  How about you??  Do you have a particular treat that you like?  Is it readily available?

***

Chapter 2

Almost 20 years ago, when we first moved in, at the back of my property were a spruce tree, and a lilac bush, for added privacy and noise attenuation.  Back then they were barely as tall as the six-foot sound-berm.  Now they both tower 15/20 feet.

This summer, I was mowing the lawn, and stopped to catch my breath and look at the lilac…. and I lost my breath again.  There were crab-apples growing on my lilacWTF!!  Close inspection (the lawn can wait) showed that two of the lilac’s trunks (?) were actually a crab-apple tree.  This is the first year that it has produced fruit, so I’d never previously noticed that the two were intertwined.

How did it get there??  A squirrel burying an apple??  Some idiot in the neighborhood puts out peanuts for them.  We find peanuts buried in our planters and flower beds – along with dead flowers from the digging.

I’ll be discussing Theology with Saint Peter before this tree matures.  There are only half a dozen bunches of apples this year.  I couldn’t get six quarts/liters.  I will do well to get six cups this fall, but the wife says that she/we can make a mini-batch of one or two jars for me.  I’ll still be grumpy – just better fed.  😀  😎

24 thoughts on “I Am Crabby

  1. Garfield Hug says:

    Donkey work you do but lovely crab apple jelly! You are a good man Archon.

    Like

  2. 1jaded1 says:

    Beneath the grump, you are a gentle soul. Hope you have many years of crab apple jelly! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rivergirl says:

    I won’t tell you that we have have two crab apple trees whose fruit goes unharvested because I’ve never made jam in my life and don’t intend to start now.
    😉

    Like

  4. Jim Wheeler says:

    Don’t know crab-apple anything. I do like marmalade though. Never had it at home growing up in the Midwest and I first encountered it on the East Coast. It’s now my fav. Makes a terrific PBJ!

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    • Archon's Den says:

      We never had marmalade in my section of the boondocks either. I like it (very) occasionally. Its flavor asserts itself, and it’s not cloyingly sweet like many jams. I would be the only one to eat it, so it’s not worth buying even a small jar. It would last more than a year. If we go out (seldom) for breakfast, and the restaurant provides those little individual plastic tubs, I am sure to use one or two… and perhaps take home one or two more. 😉 🙂

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  5. We had a much-loved crabapple tree in our front yard at the military housing complex here in Virginia. Mom and I even went to visit before they tore it down years ago. I did get the crabapple tree on film though.

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  6. Daniel Digby says:

    I never realized how well you’d do as a crabby character actor. Now, all you need is for a Hollywood talent scout to read your post.

    Like

  7. Newbloggycat says:

    Hmm never heard of crab apple jelly. Think we may have crap apple jelly here. Good thing you’re crabby and not crappy. Lol! 🤪😂😂

    Like

  8. So inspiring article and nice to read this 🌷👌🙏🌷

    Like

  9. G. J. Jolly says:

    During the years I was a kid, there was a crab- apple tree in the front yard of the family home. I don’t think anyone ever considered those apples as something to eat and, instead, let the birds have them.

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