Apples to apples, plums to chutney

It was a gloriously sunny Saturday, and I had no plans at all.  Then at short notice I was told it was Apple Day and we were going to attend it.  I was rather non-plussed, not having the faintest idea what Apple Day was, but I did as I was told and carried a box of apples to the car.

We drove to our friend Dave's house, where more apples and apple-related products were loaded into the car, and with Dave joining us, off to St Nicholas' Fields we went.  Dave is one of the driving forces behind Edible York, and he was the man in the know.

An Apple Day takes the doctor away

I'd never heard of St Nick's Fields either, but it turns out to be York's centre for sustainable living, and it was hosting Apple Day.  As part of it, Dave was running a stall promoting Edible York's activities, in particular its Abundance project, which aims to collect surplus fruit from local trees and hand it out to charities and the public.

Apparently, cooking apples are harder to give away than eating apples, so in order to do this whilst telling people about Edible York, Dave had a plan.  His stall would serve caramelized apples!

Get a hand-made stove called Bernie, stick some wood in it, light it, put a pan on the stove, put a load of butter and brown sugar in it, add some chopped cooking apples, let it simmer for a while, and hey presto!  A large queue of people wanting to eat local cooking apples!

It was an enjoyable way to spend a sun-beamed autumnal afternoon, and - as long as we maintained a steady supply of mugs, spoons and hot, sugared fruit - we were kept fully occupied.  At the same time, Dave got to tell people about Edible York, and sign up a few interested souls to the cause.

So having begun the day knowing nothing at all about the event, or the place it was held, I ended it having thoroughly enjoyed myself.  And Dave won the apple-peeling contest for good measure!