In the mid 1980's, our young family moved from Vancouver Island to a small farm outside of Abbotsford, in British Columbias fertile Fraser Valley. Huge maple trees (hence: Maple Lane Publishing) lined the quiet country road leading to our new home.Our farm had been home to many generations. There was a day when the sound of a river-boat whistle would have urged the pleasant little community into their usual routine. Milk and produce were loaded onto the back of a cart and hauled to the river landing for shipping. But economic reality slowly crushed the vitality out of this little farm. The cedar plank and shake barn, once home to a dozen milk cows, had long since been abandoned. The pig house, garden and small orchard were now in ruin.I remember the first time we walked through our half-acre orchard. The ground was rock hard and covered waist high in thistles. There were only a half-dozen trees left standing, but old stumps indicated orderly rows of apple trees once supplied a family with year-round fruit.
We will never forget our first taste of tree-ripened apples, no store-bought apple ever tasted like that! It was this initial discovery that set us off on an project of reviving our apple orchard. It took several years but our trees responded by rewarding us with a supply of fresh fruit from mid July until November.
But, when you have thousands of apples, you really want to find hundred's of new and exciting ways to use them.
Our friends Dawn and Bruce Bolton who live at Edmonds, Washington, share our love for a simple country lifestyle. Dawn and Jean have collected, typed, tested, rewritten, edited, proofed and labored over this cookbook for nearly four years.
If you would really like to experience the taste of extraordinary apples, wait until late summer or early fall and head out onto a country road. Look for an orchard where apples are picked ripe. It will be a great adventure guaranteed to rekindle your love for apples!
Jean and Phil Hood
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