The Apple Doll Carver

Apple picking season is pretty much over, but for one lady in rural Tennessee, the season is year round.

Sallie Swor swears apples are the best, not just for snacking, but also relaxing while she carves the fruit into a work of art. She shapes and shaves the juicy flesh into a face, but it can be a challenge.

“I guess just getting it carved right, so it looks really good then watching it dry to see how it dries,” she states. “It’s a challenge to try and make it look one way and then having it end up not being as good.”

When she is happy with its facial features, it is submerged in a salt and lemon solution. This helps to keep them from turning brown. Then the little heads are hung out to dry.

After about four weeks at room temperature, the fruits of her labor are revealed. The natural shrinkage has turned the apple into something resembling a person.

Swore has made hundreds of these apple dolls. Each one with its own persona. There are grandmas and grandpas, witches and warlocks.

They do age and grow darker over time, but can last for years. One of her favorites is this group of Christmas carolers. Part of the craft is creating the body out of fabric scraps and handmade caps. Definitely a long process, but as the youngest of six, you learn to have patience. Her father was a carpenter by trade but also grew corn. He did it all by hand.

“He never had a tractor. He cut corn by hand... I remember him when he got ready to cut the corn and pick it off the stock...and he would put me up on the shock and I got to ride and that was fun,” she adds.

Sallie’s love of sewing and doing anything by hand was something she fell in love with as a little girl growing up in east Tennessee: “There were no real classes for anything. If you wanted something you just figured out how to do it and you did it.”

Many an afternoon, Sallie settles into her sofa ready to grapple with an apple. Hoping that a doll face will emerge, and one thing for sure, as long as she has a desire to carve this tasty fruit, she will never starve.

Rural Lifestyle & Entertainment Shows
First introduced to RFD-TV on Larry’s Country Diner, The Malpass Brothers, modern day troubadours, bring you their very own, brand-new show to RFD-TV. Viewers can enjoy traditional country music from the brother duo of Chris & Taylor Malpass, a featured celebrity guest on each episode, and loads of clever humor.
Join popular polka performer Mollie Busta as she hosts the weekly “Mollie B Polka Party” on RFD-TV! The one-hour program features the nation’s top polka bands and a wide variety of ethnic styles produced on location at music festivals from around the country.
For more than 20 years on the air during its original run, HEE HAW did more than simply make people laugh; it made an unforgettable mark on country music and became an American Institution.
Ray’s Roadhouse is a weekly program featuring the music of Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel. Ray and his band Asleep at the Wheel has had a more than 50 year career in the music industry and over the years have earned nine Grammy Awards. The program also will feature guest performers such as Pat Green, Stoney LaRue and Kelly Willis.
Dailey & Vincent are BACK ON RFD-TV for another great season, brought to you by Gus Arrendale & Springer Mountain Farms. Join them as they welcome scores of fabulous bluegrass, country, and gospel music acts as special guests!