5 Things to Do With Apples

Sunday, October 22, 2006

With the arrival of apple season, it's hard to stick to the one-a-day rule, especially if you go overboard at a pick-your-own orchard. To help you plow through your stash, here are five ways to use apples that don't require chewing.

Make prints, cards or wrapping paper. Turn apples into decorative stamps by slicing the fruit horizontally, exposing the inside star shape. Or create more elaborate designs -- hearts, moons, Hitchcock's profile -- with a small knife. Then stick a fork in the rounded side of the fruit, dip it in paint and press the stamp on paper.

Create a candle holder. With a carving knife, core or hollow out an apple (imagine you're gutting a pumpkin). Stick a candle inside -- narrow or stumpy, depending on the hole size -- and light it. The smell of candle and apple will evoke cozy fall evenings in New England.

Build apple-head granny dolls. Peel an apple and let it hang-dry for a couple of days, so that the fruit shrivels into an old-lady face. Decorate the face with wire (for granny glasses) and seeds (for beady eyes), and attach it to a small bottle for the body. Dress up granny with some gingham fabric, and if she rocks, stick her in Barbie's pink Corvette.

Drink them. Pour yourself an apple smoothie by mixing in a blender peeled and chopped apples, apple juice, ground cinnamon and vanilla frozen yogurt. If your fruit bowl is overflowing, toss in those bananas, peaches and pears, too.

Whip up a facial mask. Treat your skin to an apple mask. Combine one grated apple with honey, smooth the mixture on your face, then rinse (don't lick) it off after 10 minutes. For a pastier consistency, add some uncooked oatmeal.

Want more ideas? Contact the U.S. Apple Association in Vienna, 800-781-4443 or http://www.usapple.org/ .

-- Andrea Sachs

© 2006 The Washington Post Company