I don’t know how many people know that Nebraska City, Nebraska is the home of Arbor Day (that tree planting holiday in April). It really is. J. Sterling Morton (the guy with the idea for Arbor Day – Secretary of Agriculture under Grover Cleveland) lived there and is the one Nebraska statue in the Capital building in Washington D.C. (as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection). Morton’s son, by the way, is the Morton salt guy – Joy Morton. And yes, I’ve taken the tours (Nebraska City AND Washington D.C.) and graduated from high school in Nebraska so I already knew all this.
Anyway part of all this Arbor Day history includes the numerous orchards that abound there. Nebraska City does apples…and lots of them. So in September each year they hold the AppleJack Festival (pdf of this years activities) to celebrate the apple harvest. My mother decided it would be a good idea to attend…and this is what she brought home:
And one bag was missing – the bag now sitting in my kitchen. So needless to say recipes (and bentos) around here are going to have A LOT of apples in them for a little while!