Monday, August 23, 2010

The Apples Of Childhood Are Always the Sweetest "A la recherche du temps perdu"

I was watching the British version of "Who Do You think You Are" which show traces the family history of various well known personalities. It usually uncovers a good number of skeletons in various cupboards and is interesting viewing.

The guest was Rick Stein the well know chef and during the course of the program he went to one of the family homes in the English countryside and met the family housekeeper. It was a classic rambling English country house replete with spacious garden and as Klein was walking through it he said to the housekeeper "I remember that apple tree-they were particularly lovely apples"

All first apple tree are particularly lovely to young boys  (I can't speak for young ladies but somehow I don't believe there is the same magic-especially as young boys tend to climb up in the trees or pick up apples which may have been on the ground for some time etc) and I am no different from Rick Stein in my first apple experience.

I remember finding a long neglected orchard some distance off from the boarding school in Westchester New York I attended and making acquaintance with a thick, rough skinned brown apple the likes of which I had never seen before (which turned out to be a Russet I found out in later life).The first bite of this tempting oddity was-well all men who remember their first tree picked apple will know exactly what it tasted like-it was wonderful and exotic. I also made acquaintance with the Red Delicious type apple which are particularly sweet and glossy and the orchard became a hidden place of many trips and treasures.

Watching Klein and his apple memory shows that  in addition to Proust's "A la recherche du temps perdu"
episode of the madeleine the awakening of involuntary memory by a physical object the same came happen with the visual and vocally created imagery of a television program-I am sure both Stein and I could taste that first apple in our minds taste buds !

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