Raise your hand if you know that today is Johnny Appleseed Day!
September 26, 1774 was his birthday. "Johnny Appleseed" (John Chapman) is one of America's great legends. He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania, but he was among those who were captivated by the movement west across the continent.
As Johnny traveled west (at that time, the "West" was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) he planted apple trees and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew. A devout Christian, he was known to preach during his travels. According to legend, Johny Appleseed led a simple life and wanted little. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received to churches or charities. He planted hundreds of orchards, considering it his service to humankind. There is some link between Johny Appleseed and very early Arbor Day celebrations.
So, in honor of this interesting fellow, let's get on with the questions!
1. What is your favorite apple dish? (BIG BONUS points if you share the recipe.)
I generally don't like cooked fruit BUT I love our version of baked apples: peel, core and slice apples (as many as you want--I prefer a firm apple: Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, etc.) and place in a skillet, baking dish, or microwave safe bowl. Speinkle with sugar or Splenda to taste (depends on how sweet the apple is). Dust with cinnamon to taste (I use a lot) and dot with butter or margarine. Cook (on stovetop, in oven or microwave), stirring occasionally, until apples are tender. Serve as a side dish or as dessert with a good vanilla ice cream.
2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about?
I remember planting loblolly pines as part of an arbor day celebration when I was in elementary school. And at my last church, we planted a dogwood in memory of a very special member who died.
3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not?
Yes and no. I think forming relationships are so important that it would be difficult for me to itinerate on that scale. But I can see the appeal. Ben's retirement plan is to get an RV, wire it for sound, and travel the country as BBQ missionaries...going from restaurant to restaurant preaching until they feed us. :)
4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours?
Paul Bunyan's blue ox Babe, for some reason. Maybe doesn't quite fit the category, but I've always been charmed by the story.
5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to be cheerful, or is there something else that you often do?
Oh, we have the song of the day in our family...there's usually something running through my head. I hesitate to call them favorites, but perennial selections include They Might Be Giants' "James K. Polk" and "I Palindrome I", the Smiths' "Unhappy Birthday", the "Jeopardy" theme, various hymns, and whatever we sang at last Sunday's contemporary worship service. Also James Taylor makes frequent appearances. The secular stuff tends to be music from when I was in college. Go figure.