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Photography - Stephen Hamilton; Main Story by - Max Hamilton; Food Stylist - Celeste Campise Hamilton; Food Stylist - Geo Salas; Prop Stylist ~ Lorri J; Design - Judith Mara

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My family is my biggest inspiration. And there's quite a few talented people in my tribe. That's why it was so much fun to work together with two of them on this story. My son Max, wrote the story and my wife, Celeste, who is a pastry chef, did the food prep and styling. And me, well let's just say ... I think they'll work with me again. ~ Steve
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The apple always tumbles far from the tree, but we as humans often kick it back to where it came from. Built into the life cycle of an apple tree is a schedule of mutation that guarantees the fruit's genetic diversity. From seed to tree to fruit and then back to seed, the natural life of an apple is periodically altered to create new strains of its predecessors.
 
If a seed from a Fuji apple is planted, the fruit from the resulting tree will not be the same Fuji apples. This latest fruit will differ from its predecessor in taste, texture, luster, and size. The only guarantee is that this tree will not produce the same Fuji apples.

Somewhere between the flesh of the fruit and the seed there is a historic miscommunication that has greatly benefited both the biological species of the apple and the many creatures that may choose to graze from their branches. There lingers a question of how a fruit so determined to mutate could be farmed in massive uniform orchards. One apple typically holds about 5-13 seeds, so in groves with hundreds of trees it becomes impossible to naturally seed a uniform strain, which highlights the surprisingly medical realities of the apple industry. An apple orchardist's job could be likened to a business of prosthetics or more accurately transplants.

If an orchardist wanted to sell Fuji apples they would begin by planting apple seedlings of any Fuji variety. During the eight years it takes for an apple seedling to fully mature, they would have their limbs clipped and adolescent branches from a tree that produces Fuji apples would be spliced on. Bit by bit and limb by limb these saplings would only have Fuji branches and if the splicing was successful the Fuji limbs would be fed and supported by the roots and trunk of the original tree

The ever-collaborating apple builds its past, it rolls in whatever direction the winds blow, even if that wind is man-made.

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Delicate sheets of apple are used to create the beautiful  spiral of apples baked on top of the apple tart below.

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If baking is any labor at all, it’s a labor of love. A love that gets passed from generation to generation. – Regina Brett
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The apple tart has layer upon layer of apples and pastry.

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A Dutch Baby pancake filled with sauteéd apples, cinnamon and butter.

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There's a star inside my apple
I know it's hard to grapple
But if you cut it side to side
There's a star alone, no lie
And in my star inside my apple
Are sleepy little seeds
And in those seeds found in my star
Are could-be apple trees


Ellis Paul "The Star Inside the Apple"
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Sautéed sausages with cabbage and apples are not only beautiful to look at but delicious to eat.

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Kale, sautéed apples, pine nuts blue cheese and cabbage make a spectacular winter salad.

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The ever-collaborating apple builds its past, it rolls in whatever direction the winds blow, even if that wind is man-made.
~ Max Hamilton
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