Baking Apples

Wind storms through orchards
mocking calm branches
left a bird frantic,
fruit on the ground

She hasn’t stopped singing
this mockingbird
who mocks the calm, my thoughts
seems searching for a perch
a mate, perhaps, like I
seek Cindy, yes

I will learn the mockingbird song
before the next storm, so birdie luck
will perch a finger, and

I will storm home
like the shocking bird,
my Cindy electric and flighty
— Douglas Gilbert
4 large Rome Beauty Apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup chopped raisins
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup boiling water
1. Light an oven, setting it to 375°F. Keep busy for at least 20 minutes so the oven can get hot. You could go to the next step or “clap hands, clap hands, ’till the oven heats up.
2. Wash your hands, and wash the apples, but don’t eat them.
3. From the core of your being meditate on the apple core. No, never mind. Forget that… just remove the cores, but leave a 1/2 inch on the bottom. Take out the seeds but don’t eat them even though they have an interesting flavor — it’s kinda hard and you might be allergic to cyanide or is it arsenic? Make the holes wide enough to hold all the ingredients: 3/4 to an inch wide.
4. Find a small bowl, and throw it across the room and break it if it’s the wrong size. Otherwise, combine the sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and raisins in the bowl. Put the apples in a 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan. Fill each apple with the mixture. Top each with a dollop of butter. If you don’t want to get hungry, don’t lick your fingers, and besides, you weren’t supposed to use your fingers.
5. Add boiling water to the baking pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until soft. Remove from the oven and pour the pan juices over the apples several times.
6. Take a taste. If it’s OK, turn off the oven. If it’s not OK, turn off the oven carefully, and go take a walk to a friend’s house who knows how to make it better.

Books by Douglas Gilbert


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