Okay–this is a quick post, but with the promise of much more to come later. Casey and I have both been rather busy lately, though I for one can assure you that I’ve been busy in the kitchen, making as many apple-focused foods as humanly possible. Not just for Apple Day, but for Rosh Hashanah as well (double the apple fun!). So at any rate, here we go…
Back in the day, Mary Baldwin College used to own an apple orchard. Once a year, the sophomore class would plan an Apple Day, when classes would be canceled and everyone would go out to picnic in the orchard. And pick apples and stuff. No one ever knew when Apple Day was until the night before, when the sophomores would come running through the dorms banging pots and pans and announcing that the next day was Apple Day. Then general cheer and chaos would ensue.
Today, we always know that Apple Day is the first Wednesday in October [A year after I wrote this, Apple Day was changed to Tuesday. And I’m not a fan of that]. Classes are canceled, there is a street carnival of sorts, and the dining hall is full of nothing but apple-y goodness. And after many, many years, we started going back to the orchard in 2005 (I think. I was already out of school when it happened).
BUT the night before Apple Day is lovingly termed Apple Eve. It is on this night that all the little squirrels on campus take advantage of a day off class, traditionally by engaging in festive celebrations. It is a time for bonding with friends and hallmates, visiting other dorms (and houses, too, if you’re upperclasswomen), avoiding Staunton PD and community members, and pouring out libations in a highly responsible manner. Into plastic cups. What those libations are, however, I will neither confirm nor deny. Unless asked directly, which would require me to remain committed to the Honor Code, and therefore tell the truth.
Fancy, I know.
I’ve begun making delectable apple comestibles, and will post about them later. A few things so far: grilled chicken with caramelized apples and onions, apple-cinnamon challah french toast, and apple-cinnamon honey cake. Still to come: apple dumplings, some kind apple-y cocktail, and whatever else I can come up with that will hopefully be tasty. But again, I’ll write about those later. In the meantime, mop up your drool.
Now, it’s important to note that while we like food, we also like service. One fellow squirrel wrote a great post about what Apple Day means to her:
Apple Day began as a day of service for students on campus as they would go and spend afternoons picking apples and doing good for those around them. As a Baldwin girl, we were taught to work hard and play hard and that we did, but working hard also meant doing good in your community whenever possible. It is a lesson that sticks with a Baldwin girl such as myself for a lifetime.
It’s good to be a squirrel. Especially a squirrel who knows the importance of service.