Monthly Archives: October 2014

Henri Matisse and the Paper Cut-outs

Henri Matisse and the Paper Cut-outs

 “I have attained a form, filtered to the essentials.” Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century and along with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, shaped the modern art movement. His method of painting, Fauvism, is “… a movement in painting typified by the work of Matisse and characterized by vivid colors, free treatment of form, and a resulting vibrant and decorative effect.” (Merriam- Webster Dictionary) He was primarily a painter and a sculptor but by the last decade of his life, paper cut-outs became the medium he used more than any other.

Art Nouveau and Symbolist Art influenced Matisse’s art. Like Art Nouveau and Symbolist Art,  image (which included the human figure) and decoration were central components to his painting and later, his paper cut-outs.

The paper cut-out technique was originally used to design commissions for the Ballet Russe, the Barnes Foundation and other patrons during the 1930s. Instead of sketching his ideas, he cut shapes out of paper.

After a serious operation left him bedridden in 1941, Matisse began to further develop the cut-out technique. Confined to a wheelchair during the last decade of his life, he unable to paint or sculpt and the cut-outs became the only medium for his art.

An assistant painted paper with gouache paints. Matisse would have an image in his mind reducing that image to its basic shape. He would cut that image put using quick motions with the scissors. Matisse called the technique “drawing with scissors” on colored paper instead of using pastels, pencils or charcoal on blank paper. The shapes were laid on geometric shapes (squares, rectangles) of another color or on a white background. The cut-outs looked like Matisse’s Fauvist paintings only the approach to the subject and the materials and tools were different.

Today, Matisse’s paper cut-outs are as highly regarded as his paintings and sculptures.

 

To read more about Matisse’s paper cut-outs:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/10/arts/design/henri-matisse-the-cut-outs-a-victory-lap

http://wwww.latimes.com/entertainment/arts//a-etc-cm-knight-matisse-review-20141023

Elderfield, John. The Cut-outs of Henri Matisse. NY: George Braziller, Inc, 1978.

 

To make paper cut-outs like Matisse, try the following tutorial:

Paper Cut-outs

Materials:

White paper or white poster board

Colored papers

Embroidery scissors

Glue stick

  1. Think of a theme, i.e., My Garden, The Four Seasons, a folk tale like The Tortoise and the Hare, etc. Or use geometric or abstract organic shapes to create a composition. Matisse often created patterns with the cut-outs. What are the main shapes that come to mind for the theme? What are the colors of those shapes? How many shapes will you sue for the composition? Matisse used animal shapes, forms from nature and the human form as well as more abstract shapes.
  2. Do not draw them on the paper. Cut the shapes freehand using quick motions with the scissors like Matisse. Cut them in different sizes and in a variety of colored papers. Experiment.
  3. Arrange them in a composition or throw them up in the air and see how they land on the paper or poster board. If you are gluing some of the shapes on several pieces of paper, throw those up in the air and see where they land.
  4. Glue some of the shapes on pieces of contrasting colored paper and some on the white poster board or glue all the shapes on the white board.
  5. What will you do with your composition? Matisse used some of his cut-out compositions to decorate the walls of his home.
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Helen Keller, Humanitarian

Helen Keller, Humanitarian
Helen Keller

Helen Keller, Humanitarian

The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my Teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me.”

W-a-t-e-r. A stop at the pump for a drink of water changed Helen Keller’s understanding of the world. Her teacher, Anne Sullivan, poured water in Helen’s hand. Then she spelled the word using sign language in her other hand. When her teacher had spelled words to her before, Helen had not understood. In fact, she often fought her teacher, howling, kicking and biting her.

On that day at the pump, Helen’s face lit up in the realization the liquid flowing over her hand and the word she was signing meant the same thing.

Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. When she was 19 months old, she was so sick she almost died. She recovered from the fever but it left her deaf and blind. She still had her sense of touch and smell but she lived in a world of silence and darkness.

Helen was an unruly child who was allowed to do as she pleased. She grabbed food from the plates of others and threw temper tantrums when she didn’t get her way. She terrorized the family pets and the servants.

When she was six years old, her parents contacted the Perkins School for the Blind. They wanted a teacher to help their daughter. The school sent Anne Sullivan and their meeting changed Helen Keller’s life forever.

Helen learned to fold her napkin and eat with utensils from her plate. She learned obedience. She gradually learned sign language and Braille and attended various schools. Later, she graduated from Radcliffe College with degrees in German and English.

Galvanized by her struggle to triumph over her personal disabilities, she learned to speak. She became famous as an author and lecturer on issues for the disabled throughout her life.

She was a suffragist, a pacifist and an advocate for birth control. She lived during decades of significant social change: women fought for the right to vote, Margaret Sanger advocated for family planning and birth control and many social activists spoke out against the horrors of World War I. Workers were joining unions and fighting against child labor and for an eight-hour work day.

These social movements later brought significant changes in American society.

From 1909 to 1921, Helen joined the Socialist Party and campaigned for working class causes. She supported the Socialist Party candidate for President, Eugene V. Debs, in each of his campaigns for office. She visited workers in their homes, factories and sweatshops, learning about the conditions under which they lived and worked. She came to realize that better living and working conditions could prevent disease and poverty.

Many newspapers criticized her for her advocacy by pointing out her disabilities but Helen defended herself.

“[While others write that my political views spring out of the manifest limitations of my development] now that I have come out for socialism [the editor of the Brooklyn Eagle] reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error.”

She also joined the International Workers of the World (known as the I.W.W. or the “Wobblies”) in 1912 after she decided that parliamentary socialism was “sinking in the political bog.” She wrote for the I.W.W. from 1916 to 1918 stating that her motivation for her political activism was influenced by her concern about blindness and other disabilities.

“…blindness [was] a misfortune beyond human control [and I] found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers…”

Helen also became a follower of the Swedish scientist, philosopher and mystic, Emanuel Swendenborg. His spiritual philosophy influenced her and reinforced her own belief in God and nature. She wrote about those beliefs in My Religion.

In the summer of 1936, Anne Sullivan collapsed from a stroke and died October 20, 1036. Devastated at the loss, Helen was determined to carry on her life’s work by lecturing in Japan, working for the American Foundation for the Blind and writing books including a biography of Anne Sullivan. Helen Keller never stopped caring for others who “have less than their rightful portion.”

On June 1, 1968, Helen Keller died. Her ashes are interred with those of her beloved Teacher in the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

To learn more about Helen Keller:

Adams, Colleen. The Courage of Helen Keller. NY: Rosen Publishing Group, 2003.

Dubois, Muriel. Helen Keller. Mankato, Minn: Bridgestone Books, 2003.

Garrett, Leslie. Helen Keller. NY: DK Publishing, 2004.

Graff, Stewart and Polly Anne. Helen Keller, Crusader for the Blind and Deaf.NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1965.

Hurwitz, Johanna. Helen Keller, Courage in the Dark. NY: Random House, 1997.

Nicholson, Lois P. Great Achievers: Lives of the Physically Challenged: Helen Keller, Humanitarian. Ny: Chelsea House Publishers, 1996.

Woodhouse, Hayne. Helen Keller. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2001.

 

To learn more about the Perkins School for the Blind, visit their website:

www.perkins.org

 

SEWING CARDS

Sewing cards taught skills to young children.

Materials: Poster Board Awl for poking holes (Young children should let adults use the awl) Pencil/eraser Templates, cookie cutters or stencils Blunt tapestry needle Yarn or string Scissors

  1. Cut the poster board to 3” x 5” or 4” x 6.” You can make as many as sewing cards as you like.
  2. Trace the template or cookie cutter or stencil on the poster board with the pencil.
  3. Ask and adult to poke holes at intervals of ½” around the pattern you traced.
  4. Cut a long piece of string or yarn and knot it at the end. Lace the other end through the eye of the tapestry needle and begin to sew in and out of the holes. Look at the samples above.
  5. If you run out of yarn, make a knot in the back and start with a new piece of string or yarn. Sew in and out of the holes until you finish sewing in and out of every hole. Make a knot in the back of the poster board.
  6. Optional: Close your eyes and feel the holes with your finger tips as you sew. How does it feel to sew this way?
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Catherine: Not a Typical Teenager

Catherine: Not a Typical Teenager
Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great

 

The word “teenager” didn’t exist in the eighteenth century but even if it did, it wouldn’t apply to Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst.

At the age of fourteen, Princess Sophie and her mother, and Princess Johanne Elizabeth of Holstein-Gottrop embarked on a trip to Russia. Princess Sophie hoped to marry the future czar* of Russia, the Grand Duke Peter, and eventually become the czarina of Russia. Even back then, most princesses were not likely to marry a czar! Clearly, she was not a typical “teenager.”

Princess Sophie was born May 2, 1729 in Stettin (now part of northwest Poland) which housed her father’s regiment.  She was a minor princess, the daughter of Prince Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst and Princess Johanne Elizabeth of Holstein-Gottrop. Her parents named her Sophie Augusta Fredericka.

From the age of six, a French governess, Babette Cardell, a Huguenot refugee, tutored Sophie and taught her reading, spelling, French and the manners of the French court. Additional tutors taught her dancing and other skills important for a young woman of her class. A minister taught her Lutheranism, her family’s faith.

When she was 7, Sophie became seriously ill probably with pneumonia. Her parents were not overly sensitive to her condition and took away her toys and dolls. There were no televisions, radios, i-pods, cell phones, etc. for her to use while she was bedridden. She wasn’t a typical child, either. Sophie was intelligent, adventurous and very imaginative which she used while she was an invalid.

When she finally felt better, her parents discovered that her upper body and spine had become misshapen. This was due to a deficiency in Vitamin D, an ailment that also affected her younger brother, Frederick Auguste. The local bone setter fashioned the brace which she wore for almost four years. Her ordeal taught her patience and fortitude and gave her the will to fight to survive, skills that she would later put to good use.

In 1736, Sophie visited the German state of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel with her mother. Princess Johanna Elizabeth had grown up there, raised by the Grand Duchess who was also her godmother and aunt. Court life fascinated Sophie and was happy to watch members of royal and aristocratic families at balls and other events with a chaperone. Her experiences at court taught her about the world outside of Stettin.

Like so many girls of her class, Sophie movements were carefully supervised. She was not allowed to hang out or go to the theatre with her friends or kick a soccer ball around in the park.

Johanna Elizabeth’s family was the ruling family of Holstein-Gottorp and their relatives were the imperial family of Russia. In 1727, Duke Karl-Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp married Anna Petrovna, the daughter of Czar Peter I known as Peter the Great. A year later, Anna gave birth to a son, Karl Peter Ulrich.

When Peter the Great of Russia died in 1725 without an heir, his second daughter, Elizabeth Petrovna, took over as ruler. Empress Elizabeth had no children of her own so in 1742, she chose her nephew, Karl Peter Ulrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, to become czar upon her death. Elizabeth had a secondary motive: she didn’t want Karl Peter to inherit the throne of Sweden, Russia’s enemy. Karl Peter had a good claim to Sweden’s throne because his paternal great-uncle was Sweden’s King Charles XII.

In 1743, Karl Peter became the Grand Duke, heir to the imperial throne of Russia. He unwillingly converted to the Russian Orthodox faith and was given a new name, Peter.

Today, most people are free to choose who they want to marry but it was different for members of royalty in the eighteenth century. The expectation for young women of Sophie’s class was to marry as a way of forming political and economic alliances between royal families. Sophie’s mother lobbied to arrange a marriage between her daughter and Peter. So did the mothers of other princesses.

As a way for Empress Elizabeth to see the list of candidates for Peter’s wife, eager young princesses had their portraits painted and sent to Russia for her review. Sophie had her portrait painted by an artist chosen by the empress.

Months later, Elizabeth sent emissaries to look Sophie over and requested a second portrait. They interviewed her and her mother. More time passed but Sophie received the letter she was waiting for: a request for an interview with Empress Elizabeth of Russia.

Elizabeth selected Sophie as a candidate for Peter’s future wife especially because of her Holstein-Gottorp ancestry. But Elizabeth wanted Sophie and her parents to meet with King Frederick of Prussia first. Sophie passed the King’s test. Sophie said goodbye to her father who returned to Stettin making his daughter promise to never abandon her Lutheran faith. She never saw her father again.

In 1744, Sophie and her mother set off for Russia. It was the middle of winter. No fourteen-year-old would have enjoyed or easily endured the trip but Sophie’s goal was to reach Russia and be chosen as Peter’s future wife.

The hard uncomfortable journey took almost a month before they reached Riga, a Russian city on the Baltic Sea. The empress’ representative met them there and gave them a sledge to continue their journey. The sledge was warm and comfortable with furs, a bed and an escort. Along the road they traveled, crowds lined the streets to see their carriage go by. They stopped first in Moscow then continued to St. Petersburg. Johanna’s goal was to arrive there on or before Feb. 10th  which was Peter’s birthday and help him celebrate it.

They arrived in St. Petersburg on February 7, 1744,  royal court greeted them warmly. Sophie met the empress and became acquainted again with Peter who she met years earlier on one of her visits to the German court. He was immature and obsessed with his toy soldiers then. Childlike and sickly when Sophie and Peter first met, Peter still loved his toys and playing soldier. He was a disappointment to the empress but Sophie humored him. Her future lay with becoming Peter’s wife.

She and her mother attended balls and banquets and the empress lavished Sophie with expensive gifts. But Sophie wasn’t interested in the frivolities of her age group. She learned Russian, the dances of the Russian court and the tenets of the Russian Orthodox Church. She endeared herself to the empress who wanted a strong person to become Peter’s wife.

She contracted pleurisy during this period but neither the illness nor her mother’s efforts at spying on the court for King Frederick of Prussia lessened her chances to become Peter’s wife. Her time spent at Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel taught her about royal intrigues and her new experiences at Elizabeth’s court confirmed what she already knew.

Sophie converted to the Russia Orthodox faith on June 28, 1733. Her new name was Ekaterina Alexeyevna or Catherine Alexandra. The next day, she became officially engaged to the Grand Duke Peter Ulrich. Her efforts to become Russian had paid off for the minor princess from Anhalt-Zerbst.

Catherine and Peter’s wedding took place on August 21, 1745 at the Church of the Virgin of Kazan in St. Petersburg and she became the Grand Duchess Catherine Alexeyevna.

She was only 17 years old.

*Czar means emperor or king; a derivative of the Roman Caesar; also tsar or tzar

To read more about Catherine the Great:

Gregory, Kristiana. The Princess Diaries, Catherine the Great, Journey. NY: Scholastic, 2005

Hatt, Christine. Catherine the Great. Milwaukee: World Almanac Library, 2004.

Rounding, Virginia. Catherine the Great, Love, Sex, and Power. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006.

_________ Catherine the Great. Virginia: PBS Home Video, 2006.

Vincent, Zu. A Wicked History, Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. NY: Scholastic, 2009

Whitelaw, Nancy. Catherine the Great and the Enlightenment in Russia. Greensboro, NC: Morgan Reynolds, 2005

 

KHOKLOMA

Khokhloma

Khokhloma – background color

 

Khokhloma

Khokhloma – gold and black on red background

Khokhloma, a traditional Russian folk craft, is a form of wood painting utilizing floral and fruit patterns and red, gold and black colors. Below is a simple version for you to make at home. For more information on  khokhloma visit: http://allnewsvideos.com/2014/09/14/khokhloma-painting/

Materials:

Wooden object such as an egg or ball

red craft paint

black craft paint

gold craft paint

brown or white craft paint for priming the wood

Acrylic paint brushes

container for water

clean cloth

pencil/eraser

varnish (optional)

1. Wipe the surface of the wood with a clean cloth.

2. Determine your design. Use your imagination and create your own floral or fruit designs instead of tracing a pattern. If necessary, use stencils. Sketch it on a piece of drawing paper first and then on the wood with a pencil. Place the design on both sides of the egg  or ball.

3. Prime the wood with brown or white paint using a broad brush. The under paint will determine the darkness or lightness of the painted background and designs. Carefully paint around your design. You will need a narrower brush to paint around the design.

4. Paint the background gold or red. You will probably need two coats of paint. Let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next coat.

5. Paint the design with a narrow brush using red and black on the gold background or gold and black on the red background. Apply two coats if necessary.

6. Wen the paint is dry, apply varnish to give the surface a shiny coat. Allow the varnish to dry and display the khokhloma.

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Louisa May Alcott, A Career Woman of the 19th Century

Louisa May Alcott, A Career Woman of the 19th Century
Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott, Author of Little Women

 “…I’d rather be a free spirit and paddle my own canoe.”

Louisa May Alcott’s father, Bronson Alcott, was a teacher, Transcendentalist philosopher, craftsman, farmer, lecturer, and dreamer. His idealistic view of life, however, didn’t make him a very good provider for his wife and four daughters, Anna, Louisa May, Betty and Abba May.

Bronson Alcott established a progressive school in Massachusetts which failed partly because he taught a form of sex education and partly because he attempted to teach African-American students alongside white students. He later established an idealist farming community with two of his friends. Bronson named the community the Consociate Family, and the farm, Fruitlands. Louisa, her mother and her sisters also lived there, tilling the land and following a strict vegetarian diet. The communal experiment at Fruitlands failed, too.

Louisa and her family moved many times from New Hampshire to several towns in Massachusetts including Boston and Concord, relying on the financial generosity of friends and family. Louisa learned that it was important to support her mother and sisters because she realized her idealistic father could not.

She loved to write and kept a journal at an early age. Her first piece of writing was a poem.

To The First Robin

Welcome, welcome, little stranger,

Fear no harm, and fear no danger;

We are glad to see you here

For you sing, “Sweet Spring is near.”

 

Now the white snow melts away;

Now the flowers blossom gay;

Come dear bird and build your nest,

For we love our robin best.

When she turned sixteen, she began to write articles and stories to earn money. During the day, she worked as a governess, teacher, seamstress and housemaid and wrote at night.

The Saturday Evening Gazette published Louisa’s first stories under the pseudonym Flora Fairfield. She published her first book when she was twenty-two in 1854 and earned $22 for a series of short stories she had written  for her friend Ellen Emerson, Flower Fables.

Her sister, Anna, and their mother, Abba also went to work while the two younger children went to school. Abba Alcott was one of the first social workers in New England. Their experiences taught Louisa independence and self-reliance. She believed that it was important for women to earn a living.

Up until 1859, she continued to write “foolish stories”, largely for the Saturday Evening Gazette. The publication paid between $15 and $20 for the stories. Her story, “Mark Field’s Mistake,” earned her $30. The Atlantic Monthly published “Love” and “Self-Love” in 1860 and paid her $50. These were large sums of money for the Louisa. She also started writing her first novel, Moods, a project which lasted four years.

Louisa lived in an atmosphere of progressive social, educational and spiritual thinking. Her teachers and mentors were her father, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau who lived as well as preached their Transcendentalist beliefs. Although she later became critical of Transcendentalism and the hardship it brought to her family, she was clearly influenced by it.

Transcendentalists embraced the progressive social movements of nineteenth century America including Universal Suffrage for Women and the Abolition of Slavery. Many helped slaves from the South escape through the Underground Railroad.*

Louisa May Alcott’s mother came from a family of Abolitionists who helped slaves escape to freedom and the Alcotts hid slaves during the years before the outbreak of the Civil War.

New England Transcendentalists supported the Abolitionist John Brown, and raised money for his cause. When John Brown was hanged after the raid on Harper’s Ferry, his daughters, Anne and Sarah, enrolled in a school run by the Transcendentalist educator, Frank Sanborn. Louisa and her sisters befriended the girls.

When the Civil War began in 1861, Louisa applied to work as an army nurse. She reported to the Union Hotel Hospital in Washington, D.C. late in 1862. Union Hotel Hospital was a makeshift facility with rudimentary sleeping quarters for the nurses. The hours were long and Louisa contracted typhoid pneumonia. Bronson brought her home when she was strong enough to travel to Concord but she took many weeks to recover.

She never completely regained her health because the cure for typhoid, calomel, contained mercury which poisoned her system. She endured the aftereffects for the rest of her life.

Commonwealth magazine printed the letters Louisa sent home describing her experiences in an army hospital. After she recovered from typhoid, she reworked the letters, changing names and revising events into a book, Hospital Sketches, published by Redpath Publishers. The book was very popular with the reading public.

Louisa earned more and more money from her writing as more and more magazines and newspapers accepted her stories for adults: “The Skeleton in the Closet,” “The Skeleton in the Dark” and “Pauline’s Passion.” Her thrillers, published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly and The Flag of our Union, were popular and paid well. Louisa wasn’t proud of them but they helped her support her family. She worked during an era when most women of her class didn’t work outside of the home.

Louisa believed that women should have the same educational opportunities as men and be paid the same as men for the same kind of work. Louisa did not believe that a woman’s only role in life was to be a wife and mother. “As if it (marriage) was the only end and aim of a woman’s life,” she once said. (pp.76, Warrick)  Her working mother and the progressive beliefs of her parents and their friends were her greatest influences.

In 1867, Louisa became the editor of Merry’s Museum, an Illustrated Magazine for Boys and Girls which introduced her to the world of children’s literature.

Thomas Niles of Roberts Brothers, Publishers, asked her to write a story for girls. In May, 1868, she began to write Little Women, basing the story on her sisters and their experiences. It was so popular that she immediately wrote a sequel. She resisted her fans requests to have Jo marry Laurie but finally relented and created the character of Mr. Bhaer as Jo’s future spouse. The two volumes were eventually merged into the version the reading public has come to know.

Little Women made its author famous, sought after for interviews and autographs. The fan mail she received was sometimes so overwhelming that her sisters helped her answer it.

Success brought her and her family financial security but it also made her a celebrity. Louisa hated being famous. Fans stopped by her home to say hello and meet her. To avoid the attention, she often posed as the family servant. Louisa loved to write and often left home for another refuge where she could write in solitude.

In 1869, Roberts Brothers gave her a royalty check for $8500. She paid off every debt her family owed and provided every comfort for her family including art courses for May. “My dream was beginning to come true,” (Pp.85. Warrick) she said.

Louisa and her family also supported women’s rights, especially the right to vote.

She actively spoke on behalf of universal suffrage. On March 29, 881, The Concord School held its committee elections. Twenty women, including Louisa, cast their first votes. She continued her volunteer work, too.

Success also brought heart ache. Her sister, Betty, died, followed by Anna’s husband, John Pratt, then May who died giving birth, Abba,her mother, and finally, Bronson. May left her newborn daughter, Louisa May Nericker, or Lulu, in Louisa’s care.

Louisa continued to write and published An Old-Fashioned Girl on April, 1, 1870. In 1871, she wrote and published Little Men and The Christian Union published Work based on her experiences as a working woman. Aunt Jo’s Scrap Bag, another collection of  stories, came out in 1872, followed by Shawl Straps for “The Independent.

She published Lulu’s Library, based on the antics of her niece. Her last novel, Jo’s Boys, was published in 1886. Already ill, she slipped into a coma and died two days after Bronson on March 6, 1888.

* The Underground Railroad was a loosely organized system run by black and white volunteers who helped fugitive slaves reach the North. Thousands of men and women followed the Underground Railroad between 1840 and 1860.

 

To read more about Louisa May Alcott:

Aller, Susan Bivin. Beyond Little Women: A Story about Louisa May Alcott. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2004.

Anderson, William. The World of Louisa May Alcott. NY: Harper Collins, 1992

Ditchfield, Christin. Louisa May Alcott: Author of Little Women. New York: Franklin Watts, 2005.

Shealy, Daniel. Alcott in her own time: A Biographical Chronicle of her Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends and Associates. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2005.

Warrick, Karen Clemens. Louisa May Alcott, Author of Little Women. Berkley Heights, New Jersey, Enslow Publishers, Inc: 2000.

Another Healthy Apple Salad

The Alcott family named their home in Concord Orchard House because of the apple orchard that stood behind it. Apples were a favorite fruit of Louisa May Alcott and her family. When Bronson Alcott opened Fruitlands, apples were a staple of the residents’ vegetarian diet.

2  cups Romaine (or greens of choice)

1 – 2 unpeeled red apples, diced

1/2 cup diced celery

1/4 cup craisins (or raisins)

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or slivered almonds)

For dressing:

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons pineapple juice

1 Tablespoon sugar

In a large salad bowl, toss lettuce, apples, celery, craisins and walnuts. In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the dressing. (Or use a salad dressing of your choice.) Pour over the salad and toss.

Take to a picnic or serve with grilled food.

Serve immediately.

 

 

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