Today’s burning question, dear reader – what to do with a dog which is addicted to apples? Gunnar, our German pointer/Hungarian vizsla cross, LOVES them, and at this time of year it’s like every day’s his birthday, because they’re all over the ground, everywhere we go.
Which is fine, only his walks now take three times as long because they turn into apple hunts, while a quick visit to do his business in the garden can turn into half an hour of him noisily chewing up the windfalls and refusing to come in, even for his favourite Bonios. Then, he eats too many, he gets bloated, and this can have a very unpleasant side-effect (gas masks at the ready!).
Mind, he is a dog of fine taste (he chose me, after all…) and I share his love of this humble fruit. Now’s the time to leave the supermarket imports on the shelves and venture out to farmers’ markets, farm shops and your friends’ gardens for proper English apples, which are vastly superior to their homogenised counterparts in the shops. There’s nothing quite like a proper russet, cox, golden pippin or spartan straight from garden or market, intensley flavoured and textured to take you back to long-gone seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness.
Thus, preserving, baking, hoarding and storing are the order of my evenings and weekends at the moment, as friends deliver their gluts to my grateful arms. As the days get shorter and colder, taking to the kitchen to commune with apples is one of the greatest pleasures of the season. Having said that, I do look forward to the day when the dog is free of their effects.