“Mounted once more in front of him, my own horse led by the rein, I tried to thank him for his help.
“No trouble, lass,” he said, dismissing my thanks.
“But it was a risk to you,” I said, persisting. “I didn’t realize you’d be in danger when I asked you.”
“Ah,” he said, noncommittally. And a moment later, with a hint of amusement, “Ye wouldna expect me to be less bold than a wee Sassenach lassie, now would ye?”
He urged the horses into a trot as the shadows of dusk gathered by the roadside. We did not speak much on the rest of the journey home. And when we reached the castle, he left me at the gate with no more than a softly mocking, “Good’ e’en, Mistress Sassenach.” But I felt as though a friendship had been begun that ran a bit deeper than shared gossip under the apple trees.”
Excerpt From: Diana Gabaldon. “Outlander.”
Tiny and tart, most don't realize that the humble yet beautiful crabapple is a serious powerhouse of nutrition. I grew up with a yard full of lovely crabapple trees so they are near and dear to my heart. Many a day was spent engaging in wars with crabapples used as the primary source of defense. Such is the imagination of children restless during their summer holiday!
When you aren't using them as weapons they can be pickled and served with cold meats and fowl and juiced with regular apples to provide a bit of wildness to your favorite juice recipe especially if you pick them after the first frost which increases their sweetness. They have a very large amount of pectin and can easily be used in combination with other fruits to help the setting process for jams and jellies. A poultice of pounded crabapple (Use a mortar and pestle for this!) can be used to treat small and inflamed flesh wounds. I like to dry them , chop them up and put them in tea with other sweet herbs like anise hyssop, stevia, spices like cinnamon and clove and of course a good dollop of honey. Be careful not to eat too many though...Like most apples they have a laxative quality which is very effective!
Below is a wonderful 10th Century Anglo Saxon Charm. It's an amazing piece of history and I wanted to share it.
The Anglo Saxon 9 Wort Charm from the Lacnunga - a 10th Century Herbal
"Remember, Mugwort, what you made known,
What you arranged at the Great proclamation.
You were called Una, the oldest of herbs,
you have power against three and against thirty,
you have power against poison and against contagion,
you have power against the loathsome foe roving through the land. (Plague?)
And you, Waybread (Plantago?), mother of herbs,
Open to the east, mighty inside.
over you chariots creaked, over you queens rode,
over you brides cried out, over you bulls snorted.
You withstood all of them, you dashed against them.
May you likewise withstand poison and infection
and the loathsome foe roving through the land.
'Stune'(corn salad?) is the name of this herb, it grew on a stone,
it stands up against poison, it dashes against pain,
Nettle it is called, it drives out the hostile one, it casts out poison.
This is the herb that fought against the snake,
it has power against poison, it has power against infection,
it has power against the loathsome foe roving through the land.
though you are the lesser,
you the mightier, conquer the lesser poisons, until he is cured of both.
Remember, chamomile, what you made known,
what you accomplished at Alorford,
that never a man should lose his life from infection
after Chamomile was prepared for his food.
This is the herb that is called 'Wergulu'.(Crabapple?)
A seal sent it across the sea-right,
a vexation to poison, a help to others.
it stands against pain, it dashes against poison,
it has power against three and against thirty,
against the hand of a fiend and against mighty devices,
against the spell of mean creatures.
There the Apple accomplished it against poison
that she the loathsome serpent would never dwell in the house.
They were created by the wise Lord,
holy in heaven as He hung;
He set and sent them to the seven worlds,
to the wretched and the fortunate, as a help to all.
These nine have power against nine poisons.
A worm came crawling, it killed nothing.
For Woden took nine glory-twigs,
he smote the the adder that it flew apart into nine parts.
Now there nine herbs have power against nine evil spirits,
against nine poisons and against nine infections:
Against the red poison, against the foul poison.
against the yellow poison, against the green poison,
against the black poison, against the blue poison,
against the brown poison, against the crimson poison.
Against worm-blister, against water-blister,
against thorn-blister, against thistle-blister,
against ice-blister, against poison-blister.
Against harmfulness of the air, against harmfulness of the ground,
against harmfulness of the sea.
If any poison comes flying from the east,
or any from the north, or any from the south,
or any from the west among the people.
Christ (Woden?) stood over diseases of every kind.
I alone know a running stream,
and the nine adders beware of it.
May all the weeds spring up from their roots,
the seas slip apart, all salt water,
when I blow this poison from you."