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.


  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.


  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!


    • 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. 😉 🙂


  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.


  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.


  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! 🤪😂😂


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


  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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