Many local families whose roots run deep on the history have pleasant memories of enjoying apples for generations. (Photo courtesy Ewing Family)

Fall temperatures beckon you to come out of the air conditioning and enjoy the crispness of the air.
And while pumpkins steal much of the buzz, apples should truly be acknowledged as a permanent symbol in our American history.
Apples may be the Marylin Monroe of history and culture while pumpkins are a little more flashy and in your face and may be more like the Kardashian family.
Their connection goes back to tales like Tom Sawyer, the young mischief maker who leaned against a fence chomping the perfect red apple he traded for to give someone his “fun task” of whitewashing.
Snow White fell prey to another perfect apple from the Evil Queen while the more recent and popular vampire romance series “Twilight” also depicted quite a bit of apple symbolism.
Further, apples even had several nods in Greek mythology, one instance where one apple from Paris kicked off a chain of events leading to the Trojan War.
And pumpkins? Well, they did get to be Cinderella’s carriage.
In American history, patriotic slogans frequently used apples in their appeals, despite the only apple trees being native were crabapple trees. (Apple trees as we know them actually wandered their way over from Europe). Still, the phrase “as American as apple pie” was coined as far back as the 1800s and during World War II times, was updated to soldiers fighting for “mom and apple pie.”
With early families and settlers, apples could be stored and enjoyed when the weather got cold as a change from dried and preserved foods.
Folklore gives acknowledgement to Johnny “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman who traveled selling apple seed and helping establish simplistic nurseries families along the plains.
Of course, many of those apples he had a hand in growing would not be for rosy cheeked boys and girls — most were for hard apple cider!
Hard cider was popular because it was not only easy to make, but gave a smaller fear of being botched with bacteria to make it a mainstay on the frontier table.
In more recent decades here on the Eastern Shore, many of the old white farmhouses peppered along the roads also had a few apple trees for families to enjoy.
Of course, you’re also likely to hear stories about apples so sour that a person remembers how their stomach turned decades later! (Likely those tiny and tart crabapples!) or how the family pony would break out and beeline for the family orchard.
One such farmhouse was Cedardale Farm of the Ewing family of Cordova, where the five now-grown children all came away with fond memories of pitching in to harvest basket upon basket of green beauties.
All remember processing and preserving, but one recalls the apple sauce being the best around while another begs to differ that it was indeed the apple butter.
Whatever it was, those apples surely hit the spot in the stomach and the heart.
It’s worth asking around your own family if there are any special traditions or recipes around apple season you could resurface to carry out.
With more families shopping at the supermarkets these days you don’t see thriving apple trees at homes as much as you used to.
Activities pulling people away from home more and more and slightly high maintenance trees don’t fit together very well.
Hence, the agritourism market has been great to keep some of these traditions alive.
Redemption Farms in Denton, Md., grows nine varieties of apples, some that you have heard of, like Honeycrisp and Red Delicious, to some you may not of, like Winecrisp and Galarina. (Plus you can get on the list for some Doc Martin pole beans, another Eastern Shore delicacy).
Another choice for local goodness is Blades Orchard in Federalsburg.
While no longer you-pick while they work on advancing their orchard, they still offer a bevvy of varieties you can arrange as a pre-order or can visit them at a farmer’s market.
Along with honeys and apple butter, they also have Faulkner Branch Cidery, where they’ve cultivated a handful of hard ciders from European style to some with hints of honey or brown sugar using their apples.
Popular among the gluten free crowd, a hard cider would be a great option to pass around at the next gathering or family meal.
Fifer Orchards in Wyoming, Del., caters to those seekng an all-out family adventure.
With tractor rides and kiddie activities, you can make a day of it. There’s even lunch at the Farm Store & Kitchen and also, yes, apple cider donuts could probably also be your lunch.
If you do go grab yourself some apples, [ahem], twist yourself some apples, spend a morning making them into something even more delightful.
There are jobs for as many hands as you can gather, whether washing, peeling or cutting. Try some applesauce, chop them into chunks for muffins and breads or even try to caramelize some and add different toppings.
This could also be a special time to pull out a family recipe or pull out an old cookbook to borrow a recipe from the past.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you could also roll up your sleeves and tackle an apple pie, a dish every woman was at one time expected to pull off for her husband as part of her homemaking duties.
While we certainly aren’t tending home quite like we used to, trying your hand at an apple pie is a fun use of time, and you could of course take it a step further and try a slice with cheddar cheese on top, which has a European start but remains a mainstay for many pie eaters.
Of course, ice cream à la mode is nothing to turn your nose at either.
So if you’ve tired of carving faces into pumpkins and eating pumpkin spice in your everything, bring yourself back to simpler times with an apple so juicy it runs down your chin.
Gather your family around for some apple picking and baking fun and you’ll not only keep the doctor away, but create some long-lasting, old-time memories, just like the patriots of yesteryear.