The silver plate and the what?? Also popovers.

Classes are still going decently. I wrote a sort pathetic little paper for Storytelling, but from talking to people, it sounds like everyone else wrote short papers as well, so at least mine won’t look pathetic for its length, just possibly the content.  It was one of those things where I enjoyed reading all the folktales and analyses, but didn’t really have anything exciting to say and didn’t feel motivated to write a pretty summary of them.  Oh well.  On the plus side, I’ve found a story that I like much better for my long story than the Balinese one I’d been working on.  It has a bit more drama and some appealing weirdness.  It’s Russian, and called “The Silver Plate (or sometimes saucer) and the Transparent Apple”.  The magical object referenced in the title is really what does it for me.  What exactly a “transparent apple” is is never described.  Ther appears to be an apple cultivar that is actually called a “transparent apple”, and if that’s all it is, I’ll be disappointed.  But I suspect not.  The story has the standard two wicked older daughters and the pretty virtuous youngest.  The father is going to town to sell things and asks his daughters if they want anything. The youngest asks for a silver plate and a transparent apple to roll about on it.  Now, with this beginning, you expect these things to be guarded by some magical creature or available only in the orchards of the wicked king, or something like that.  No, the merchant lovingly goes to market and obtains a silver plate and a transparent apple.  In one version, he says “I bought the silver saucer from an old Jew, and the transparent apple from a Finnish hag”, which doesn’t really give any further clues as to where this thing comes from or what it is.  At first I’d pictured a glass or crystal apple, but the older sisters expect the younger one to eat it.  (It turns out to be a scrying device.)  The elder daughters are jealous of the younger, despite there not being any evidence that they couldn’t get silver saucers and transparent apples of their own the next time their father goes to market.  But one reason I like it is that in contrast to many other tales of its general type, everyone ends up alive and more or less happy at the end.

I now have a popover pan!  It was a free popover pan :-)  In about three minutes I need to go turn down the oven on the popovers…hopefully they’ll actually pop.  I’ve been making lots of pastry and cookies and such in an attempt to use up the flour by Passover.

Edit: Popovers! Delicious fluffy hollow popovers!  They weren’t that hard at all :-)  I will make many popovers.


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Aunt ML said,

    Congrats on the happy popovers. I made popovers once in a standard muffin pan, and although I surely must have sprayed it with pan spray, the popovers welded themselves to the pan while cooking. Getting the pan clean was onerous.

    • 2

      limesarah said,

      Yeah, I put a fairly thick layer of oil on a nonstick pan, but even then they stuck in a few spots. Where they stuck, it was really hard to remove. From how the second batch turned out, it seems to work better if you oil the pan thoroughly, then put it in the oven as it preheats. They stuck more when I oiled the pan after preheating it.

  2. 3

    Emily said,

    Transparent apples are early-season apples, with thin skins. When you bake them in a pie, the skins disappear (become “transparent”), so you don’t need to peel them. Does the story make a deliberate play on the variety name and the crystal-scrying-apple?

    • 4

      limesarah said,

      I don’t know…do you have any idea how old that variety is? The story describes the object as a “transparent apple” with no further details except that the sisters expect her to eat it. I’m wondering if this is a translation artifact or something.

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