Appalachia Through My Eyes Folklore

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Throwing Apple Peels

My life in appalachia - Throw An Apple Peel Over Your Shoulder To See Who You'll Marry
Know how to get teenage girls to help peel a bucket of apples?

Tell them:  if they keep the peel in one piece and throw it over their shoulder the peel will land in the shape of the first initial of the person they will marry.

At least it works for me. It also worked for the lady who told me the folklore when I was a girl in the hopes that I would help peel her apples.

Ever heard the apple peel folklore before?

Tipper

Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

 

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Becky
    October 22, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I haven’t, but I love this and can’t wait to tell my granddaughters this one.

  • Reply
    Rosann Kent
    October 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

    LOL My mawmaw used that one on me for many a season. An effective technique since I never could peel an apple without breaking the peel.

  • Reply
    Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits
    October 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Tipper,
    This folklore is very familiar to me. Every time I’ve done this, the peelings form a “C”, “O” or “P”. The love of my life, and husband for 36 years, is Sam. I never made an “S”. I decided the letters stood for capable, organized and punctual and those are the qualities I sought in a man. BTW, my husband wasn’t a COP, either! 🙂
    Nicely done, Tipper!

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    October 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I’ve heard of that, but don’t know if I ever tried it, probably did. I do remember twisting the stem of the apple, though, and going through the alphabet.

  • Reply
    Mary Berrong
    October 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Tipper, love the comments on Apple Peels! We did the twist the stem and since I married a “D”, it didn’t take too many turns. Having heard about deep frying potato peeling, but will try that one, sounds yummy!

  • Reply
    Ethel
    October 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I have heard the old wive’s tales about twisting the apple stem while saying the alphabet and the one about the apple peels. I wonder if the ‘old wives’ made up the second one JUST to encourage help with peeling from their young misses???

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    October 13, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I didn’t hear of this till long after I was married — but we did do the stem-twisting thing.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    October 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Nope can’t say as I have heard that one. You did however remind me I need to get busy and peel mine for some of Aunt Mary Jo’s apple pie.

  • Reply
    Luann
    October 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Heard that one here in Oklahoma,too.

  • Reply
    Ken
    October 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Tipper,
    Never heard of this folklore, but
    I’ve seen lots of applepeeling. My
    grandpa (Boots) could peel an apple, never breaking the skin and
    thin as a bat’s ear. I’m a lot like Pap when it comes to peeling
    a tater…Ken

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    October 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    My mom told me that and, of course, I tried it– don’t think I ever made it though. She told me that she and her sisters were told one that before going to bed if you ate a thimbleful of salt and a thimbleful of meal that you would dream that your future husband would come and give you a drink! That one I didn’t try. As for thick potato peelings (or even thin ones) they are great deep fried, especially on a camping trip when everyone is hungry ’cause they can munch on them until everything else is done.

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    October 13, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I have heard of that one with the apple peel. I can’t remember if I ever tried it, though. I like the twist-th-stem one, too. One twist would do it for me (my husband’s name starts with an A!)

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    October 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Tipper,
    Never heard that one but I do know the one about the stem.
    We always tried to peel one without it breaking and I still do this. Growing up in Ellijay,GA the Georgia apple capitol and home of the Ellijay Apple Festival which was last weekend and this coming weekend. I worked in the apple packing house once and even picked them one season. That was very hard work for a little pay. I love apples anyway you can fix them and especially loved my mom’s fried apple pies! I even sampled apple brandy a few times but that is another story! I look forward to apple season each year and always go back home to buy some. My two favorites are Mutzu and Honey Crisp.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    October 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Yes, I have heard about tossing the peel to see who one’s future husband might be… and many more. I collect apple lore. Here’s a few:
    – It is unlucky to harm an apple tree.
    – A woman who has had many children should eat the first ripe apple from a young tree. This ensures that the tree will be richly productive for many years.
    – Bury a few apples beneath an apple tree to appease the spirits of the dead, especially around Halloween.
    – Eating an apple without polishing it clean challenges the devil.
    – The fruit, branches and leaves have been used in magic and folklore for love and good health since ancient times.
    – Apples are aphrodisiacs; feed them to one you desire to keep him bound to you.
    – Cut an apple into three pieces, then rub the cut side on warts, saying: “Out warts, into apple.” Bury the pieces a way from one’s home. As the apple decays, the warts will disappear.
    And people think apple pie, apple cobbler and baked apples are just for dessert! ; )

  • Reply
    Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings
    October 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Yep I heard it. Tried it too. lol

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 13, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Tipper,
    Whoops, my husband and I were discussing the apple peel letter game..He had never heard it either…He said that when he was growing up that you would hold the apple by the stem, twist and say the alphabet and when the stem broke off on a letter that would be the beginning name of your next date or the one you would marry! He had three sisters!
    I must’ve had a tough old stem ’cause my husbands name starts with an R….ha
    Thanks Tipper just thought I would add..and did you ever wonder about Johnny Appleseed..he sure travelled around or was it a Johnny AppleCROW that dropped the seeds…..LOL

  • Reply
    Tipper
    October 13, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Bev-thank you for the comment! Pap always told me he would hate to have me for a tater peeler in tough times-cause I took way to much of the tater with the peel : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    October 13, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I’ve never heard this one either but it seems like a waste of the peels as they cook down into the most flavorful jelly. Also with only twenty six letters in the alphabet and the number of the opposite sex one will meet this seems to leave a lot to interputation, my writing leaves many letters open to being various letters so how accurate can an apple peel be? However if Chitter & Chatter buy on, use it. I know my teens were hard to convince they needed to help with many tasks, they wanted to debate the issue each time which wasn’t an option with my dad so it’s really our fault. My parents firmly beleived “Spare the rod, Spoil the child” in fact I may last forever since there is no chance I’ll spoil. In fact I thought my dad enjoyed pain since he’d tell me “this hurts me worse than it does you” I always thought he was in severe pain and wondered why he didn’t slack off. Keep the good stories coming.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    October 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Kimberly-Thank you! I had totally forgotten that one. I did that everytime I ate an apple when I was young : ) Much easier than throwing the peel over your shoulder. Can’t believe I forgot it!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Tipper,
    That’s a new one on me…but we did try to peel the apples all in one line before it broke…I never could make it, unless I peeled a itty bitty apple..ha
    We have an old apple peeler, but I think they are more trouble than they are worth..unless you want to use the peeling to cook down for apple sauce or butter. It seems to leave a lot of the apple on the peel..My Momma could peel them razor thin..I can still hear..”Don’t waste the apple on the peel!”
    Thanks Tipper…When are you serving the, apple pie, apple spice cake or stack cake? I’ll be there as I’m not choosy! ha

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    October 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Hi Tipper!
    My grandmother told me about the apple peeling when I was very young. I continued to toss that apple peeling over my shoulder until I got married 11 years ago! 🙂 I know that it did land in an “S” shape quite a few times and I married Steve.
    Here is another apple folklore:
    Before you eat an apple, twist the apple stem and repeat the alphabet. Twist one round, “A”; Twist another round, “B”, etc. When the stem finally breaks off, the letter is the initial of the person you will marry.
    Kimberly

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 13, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Never heard of this one, but you can bet we will give it a go this weekend! Thanks for the fun, Tipper!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Never heard of that, Tipper, but if it get s girls to peeling apples then I vote for it!

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    October 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Never heard that one! We were encouraged to compete to see who could get the longest peeling. I guess that served the same purpose.

  • Reply
    sandra
    October 13, 2011 at 8:23 am

    this is a new one to me, great way to get free help

  • Reply
    Sassy
    October 13, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Never heard of that one Tipper but excellent way to get the teens to help. I want to can some apples but was thinking I don’t want to sit and peel em all, wish there was a couple teens I could use that on. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 13, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Tipper–That’s a new bit of folklore to me, but dealing with apples certainly isn’t. Daddy had a small orchard in my boyhood (Golden Delicious, which looks like what the peeling of your photo came from, Red Delicious, and Stayman Winesaps) and Mom was never happy until she had canned 200 quarts and dried some for fried pies. We also had a big storage area in the basement.
    Peeling was a family affair, usually on the porch, and it was a time for talking and general relaxation. Seems that sort of simple work mixed with pleasure is something missing in today’s world.
    Jim Casada
    http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 13, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I did, it got me to peeling too! 🙂

  • Reply
    kat
    October 13, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Haven’t heard that folklore but sure is a good way to get help from the young ones.

  • Reply
    Debby Brown
    October 13, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Oh I certainly have! I never got to see if it worked though as I could NEVER get a solid apple peel going! Another one is to go to bed in a room you have never slept in before and to think of a different boy as you stared at each corner of the room. The corner you woke up looking at one be the boy you would marry.

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