Thursday, October 6, 2011

Clove Apples

It was inspired by a quote from a beloved book. 

"Aunt Eliza had brought Ma a large red apple stuck full of cloves. How good it smelled! And it would not spoil, for so many cloves would keep it sound and sweet." 

Turns out we're not the only family moved to action by the smallest sections of literature. Author Julie Finn's post on Crafting a Green World provided step by step advice for pulling this project off (utilizing bamboo skewers was an especially brilliant suggestion). 

We invited some friends. I dug out George Winston's Autumn album, popped some popcorn for sustenance and waited for our company to arrive. 

The Little House quote set the stage along with some simple instructions. We noted the background music and then imagined the scene Winston may have been painting through each key. And then they were off - poking, positioning and pushing each clove (some more prickly than others) into their soon to be masterpieces.

Questions came, as they always do. How do cloves grow? It turns out they grow on trees. These trees are found in warm, humid locations like Indonesia and Africa. That's a long way from the big woods. 

With our new understanding of where cloves originated came a greater appreciation of the gift Eliza Jane had given; it was somewhat exotic and possibly expensive too. As small hands grew tired and sticky and smudged with clove dust the gift took on more meaning - understanding in new ways the diligence and care it had required.  

The morning had ignited our senses. The rich smell of cloves, the tranquil sound of Winston's music and the stickiness of apple juice drying on our fingers had certainly left an impression. 

Our apple is now wrapped with twine and is hanging from a kitchen cabinet. Its presence reminds me that hard work and rabbit trails are in fact compatible.   


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