Friday, November 11, 2011

Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who's the first person to take an apple down off a tree and eat it, so that the rest of the tribe could see it wasn't poisonous? And by tribe, I mean loose collection of individuals who had yet to formulate a hierarchy or belief system, except belief in finding things to eat that wouldn't kill them. So maybe there was one adventurous ancestor, let's call her the original foodie, who picked an apple fallen off its tree, lying on the ground small and wizen and brown and just at the point of rotting because everything in that world was either not ripe or rotting, a world without fridges or ice or salt or root cellars. Apples weren't as pretty back then, or as sweet. They were tart tiny almost inedible seed carriers, but our ancestors spent 90% of their daylight searching for things to eat and apples tasted way better than bark. We were like chipmunks, or squirrels. Humans, the largest squirrel. Burying things, hiding things from animals, stocking up for winter months. We needed so much fuel to run the massive computers growing in our heads, like computers that took up entire rooms of college campuses and sucked down enough electricity to power all of Minneapolis now. Minneapolis and degrees being an entire light year away, but anticipated all foreshadowed by food.

And our heroine, because the women would be the gatherers, roaming around close to home base/home cave/shelter, she found the apple, saw the bears eating it, and ate it too, and it was okay. She gestured and pointed, and everyone else started eating them too. She became an expert on finding things on the ground to eat. A leader among the tribe, because the most valuable skill was feeding people. They spread the news of eating the strange new thing to other more far away tribes over time - the banished son who couldn't find a mate traveling in the wilderness to other families buying his acceptance and life to strangers by offering them the fruit he came with, the kidnapped and bought daughter turning to the familiar foods of the home territory. The Woman was given a name, a certain grunt or moan or click that referred to her, the famous finder of food, and language was born. Eeeeeevvvvv. She gave directions to the other women, to find the trees and how to pick the good ones, and matriarchy was born. The image of her, a round fat apple woman well fed and all knowing, became a marker, and when they learned that apple trees could also grow out of trash heaps where cores had been thrown, that spot became a place to come back to Spring after Spring, Fall after Fall. Agriculture was born, staying put, cooking, villages, order and harvest and spoiled alcoholic juice.

The apple trees became a dark hidden place for young people to meet, or old people to cheat, to get tipsy on the fermented ground fruit. The heroine grew old and respected, her breasts sagging and her teeth almost gone, and one day found her mate fucking a younger girl in the orchard, in the branches and roots of her precious trees, at the very foot of the wrinkled gnarled original tree which had changed her life centuries ago and given her power, now old and ugly like her but growing the best and biggest and reddest fruit. If he left her, old and dying as she was now, she would be alone and ashamed, meatless and protectionless which is the original definition of heartbroken, when your heart actually breaks when you actually die.

Thus the Poison Apple was born and fed to pretty young things. A power born out of knowing the properties of what to eat and what not to eat, the original magic, and a hatred created from the disintegration of relevance. The Mother, who showed us the way up from the Garden, and The Witch, who knew how to kill without you being able to defend yourself. It was the Woman who created a world where food wasn't the most important thing, and opened the door to a time where she no longer was either.

The very ugliest and also best most complicated applesauce I've ever made:

one 1/2 bushel of apples. Whatever. Ida Roma. Matsu. Red Delicious.
peel, quarter
a section of ginger root about the size of the middle joint of your index finger, peeled and chopped
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 lemons worth of juice squeezed to death
several long and drunk throws of cinnamon
more salt than you really think necessary
1 package fruit pectin, thrown in at the last minute
1 package dried cranberries and 1 package dried apricots soaked in peach brandy for two hours
1 bottle cheap riesling
combine all in the largest largest stockpot your mom has in her kitchen
pour in enough water to cover the apples if there's any room left
simmer for three fucking hours

Bingo. Breakfast for days. 3 fucking quarts of it, honest. Breakfast for everyone for days. The whole stinking ungrateful tribe.


  1. I love Built To Spill... I was going to ask you about the band because I could recognize the melody and style...

    Bridget you are an amazing writer and even though you test my addled brain, it is always well worth the effort..!

  2. Well, now I know what to do with my share of the apples!

    Your photos make it all look so much less sad and post-season than it was. Which is excellent, because it was way more fun than it looked like in real life.

  3. Sometimes when I'm editing photos, the only thing I'm thinking is how can I make this look like it felt. So I'm glad it worked.


Who wants to fuck the Editors?