Saturday, May 2, 2009

Before there was Dancing With the Stars

We are back from a wonderful time in Florida with my Mom and Dad. We ate, we saw sights, we swam, we relaxed, I worked a little but mostly we talked and laughed with my Mom and Dad. Of course a significant amount of time was spent reminiscing! We laughed over stories from Dad about Bill the goat his beloved and pesky childhood pet, Mom's summers at Devil's Lake while she was growing up, trips and happy memories. We talked about Dad's carer and Mom's life wrangling kids and a household. One of the many fun conversations was the one about the Big Apple.

Not the city but the dance. This dance was formed in the African American community out of church. Apparently a church became a club. Three white boys heard the music and saw the dancing and begged to enter. The man who owned the club charged them 25 cents a piece and made them sit in the balcony to watch. The boys were so enraptured by the dance they brought their friends. When the music stopped the boys would throw down nickels to get the music and dancing started all over again. The dancers had to the nickelodean. One of the boys was related to someone who was a choreographer. He described the dance to the choreographer and the dance appeared in several movies.

When Mom and Dad were younger they were part of a review sponsored by the Academy of Medicine. Their role in the review was to be a part of the dance called the Big Apple. They had costumes and Mom wore a big skirt with apples on it. I am sure they were quite the thing that night. I remember seeing the skirt and hearing about the event but I never knew specifically what the dance was. When I returned home I googled Big Apple Dance video. I will tell you it was a dance! I've included the URL so you can see it too. The URL shows the dance from one of the movies where it appeared. (The other movie starred Judy Garland - no comment) You can also see a later version from a club in Seattle in 2006. Just search Big Apple Dance Seattle 2006. Enjoy the view and imagine your Mom and Dad hoofing it. Cheryl and Gilles Little Kim and Derek eat your hearts out!

So the recipe? - Big Applesauce

I learned to make applesauce from watching Mimi whose applesauce is a family legend.

You can make this with any amount of apples you like. The trick is to apply sugar and cinnamon judiciously. You can add more but you cannot take it out.

Use your chosen quantity of firm apples. I wouldn't necessarily use apples rated for sauce because the joy of Mimi's applesauce is in both the taste and the texture. Put the pared quartered apples in a pot. Put water up to 1/3 of the height of the apples. Bring to a simmer and cook the apples until they are tender and chunky but not broken down totally. The goal is to have sauce with yummy chunks throughout. Begin by adding 1/4 C. sugar, stirring gently until the sugar is dissolved in the sauce. Add sugar stirring gently after each addition until the sauce has some sweetness but remains very appley and a bit tart. At the very end add cinnamon to give a hint of spice. Serve cold if you can wait!


  1. I can't even imagine my Mom doing the Big Apple. My Dad comes from a family of dancers and perhaps, with the right partner, he could do it. His second wife, Edna, was quite a dancer and they loved to dance when older. Now, my Dad's sister, my Aunt Faith...I can see her doing the Big problem!! Thanks for the call.

  2. And now here is another comment....there is a little something for you over at Flipside. And when I get down there, we will get these awards posted on your blog!!!