An Apple Named Opal, A Dog Named Boz{11}

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As I coasted down the steep hill to the Pt. Defiance ferry dock, actively praying that I would make the boat, the security gate which separates running vehicles from bone-chilling Puget Sound teetered like a failing flag pole. With gravity (and a punctually-minded ferry worker) now in charge, the striped barricade fell back to earth, corralling me on the dock while the sweet little M/V Rhododendron chugged its way toward Vashon. A few slow motion head turns and whiny “no’s” later, I accepted my pole position for the next (and much later) ferry.

On the bright side, Boz and Gracie would get a long waterfront walk and the King Cab was stocked with provisions fresh from our stop at Tacoma Boys, a butcher shop, small grocer and produce stand that seems to have it all, including great people.

A produce man encouraged me to try a new apple called Opal. Its color is beautifully jarring, the standout kind of butterscotch yellow you see on a school bus  or taxi cab. The Opal apple is a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Topaz apple and is capped with a little russeting on the stem end.

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The apple has a unique texture and flavor, extremely crispy, but not overly juicy. There’s a density and dryness to the apple that I find appealing. It’s a serious chew that unleashes butterscotch, caramel overtones and concentrated flavor. Another great thing about the Opal apple is its flesh does not discolor. In the photo above, the right side was freshly sliced and the left side was cut the day before;  the browning is minimal.

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But don’t take my word for it. Peer into the mug of a true apple lover and crafty connoisseur. Feigning sleep, he made his move as I left the truck to fetch a new ferry schedule. Three apples disappeared without trace, as Boz and Gracie nuzzled together like sleeping innocents. How do I know Boz and Gracie pilfered the pommes? Oh it was an inside job alright, something I was able to confirm (unfortunately) on the ferry ride home with all windows rolled down. Lucky for us, smoking is not allowed on Washington State Ferries.

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