here we go!

August 16, 2008

After whining about how one of my children did not share my boundless enthusiasm for the 100-Species Challenge in my last post, I decided it best to proceed on my own. Once I did that, of course, interested family members began to sprout up as quickly as the unnamed plants themselves. Mr. T gladly ate one of our Pink Pearl apples so I could photograph its stunning salmon-colored flesh for my first entry.

And my charming husband, after catching up with my blog at the office, took pity on me and my lack of enthusiastic family members and promised to search out a few species himself.

Hoo ha!

I’ve decided to post our (presumably) growing list as a page in the A Little Background sidebar at right. I won’t share every new species as a blog post-I’m trying real hard not to bore you silly here-but I’ll post occasional, (again, presumably) intriguing entries as posts from time to time. Those posts will be linked under the category 100-species-challenge at right.

I’m following scsours’ Official Rules. With a little tweaking, of course, cause that’s what homeschoolers do best.

A little drumroll please, Mr. Shaffer…

1. Pink Pearl Apple

Latin name: Pyrus Malus

Interesting facts: I chose this tree, even though it’s growing right in our backyard*, because I’m always mixing up it up with the Pink Lady apple. I wanted Mr. T and me to get it right once and for all. We googled to be certain and discovered that the Pink Lady is the one that is pink on the outside; ours with the pink interior is the Pink Pearl.

According to California Eating, Pink Pearls are unique to the West Coast, which makes it all the more interesting to have this tree growing in our yard. They’re also rare in supermarkets because they don’t keep or travel well. I love how California Eating’s author, Amy, calls their color “positively vampy”. She also says the apples “taste of raspberries and lemon custard.” Tempting! Ours are still a bit under-ripe but I’m looking forward to tasting for that lemon custard. Mr. T is impatient; he likes them sour, says they taste like Sour Patch Kids.

And check out the Pink Pearl blossoms pictured in Amy’s post. Our blossoms really are that pink and gorgeous in spring. Positively vampy.

* Not the best photo ever. Our two apple trees are espaliered against a fence, and they have the clean lines and elegance of dancers most of the year. But right now they look as if they’re sprouting limbs from their stomachs because it’s summer and because the sunflower house has stepped right in front of them on the stage and we can’t get to them to give haircuts.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

stefaneener August 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm

What a great idea! I’ll have to add one to our growing back yard orchard as the children eventually outgrow the lawn area. Or maybe I’ll espalier them against the garden wall and let them be vegetable backdrops.

He looks pretty happy eating a sour, unripe apple. My Thing 1 got our only Fuji from the espaliered three out front this year, before I would have considered it edible.

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Patricia August 17, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Oh, do plant one! They really are special, and the blossoms are so gorgeous. Alice Waters has a recipe for them in Chez Panisse Fruits: the Pink Pearl Apple Galette. She writes, “People gasp when they see this tart because the pink blush of the apples is so unexpected and beguiling.” Well yes…and no. It is really beautiful when you make it, but part of me can’t help but think that it looks a little like it’s made with ham. A ham galette. Hmmm…

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