The Greening of Rhode Island: Ins and outs of our state fruit

The state fruit of this here place is the Rhode Island Greening apple, which you latin speakers might recognize as Malus Domestica. This tender crispy tart apple, with creamy and firm flesh, is renowned for its deliciousness in pies, sauces, and as a source for apple cider and even apple champagne.

An old Rhode Island legend has it that, in the 1700’s, one Metcalf Bowler came upon a Rhode Island Greening sapling in a small porcelain pot by way of a sea captain, who had rescued some prince of Persia, who as thanks for his safety, bestowed this small tree on his rescuer. Mr Bowler, it is said, is the gent who sat down with Lafayette and Washington and wooed them away from French wine with the much tastier apple champagne. 

More likely is the story that, sometime in the 1650’s, Mr. Green of Portsmouth, Rhode Island domesticated the variety in the back garden of his Inn there, known as Greene’s Inn.

This story has the mutation of “Greene’s Inn” to “greening” as the origin of the varietal’s name.

Regardless of origins and its fading recognition this state fruit is still grown in Rhode Island. Steere Orchard is one place that advertises availability. 

Remember, it is best as a cooking apple—Martha Stewart has declared it her favorite baking apple, but can be enjoyed fresh for it’s Granny Smith-like tartness that mellows with winter storage.

As you wander the sweet bounteous orchards of October perhaps you’ll keep a nostril open for the tart tell of the elusive Rhode Island Greening.

Look for the Rhode Island Greening at, Steere Orchard, 150 Austin Ave, Greenville

Corned Beef and Trivia

Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t just about getting absolutely shit-faced on green beer and eating corned beef. It’s also about celebrating being Irish. So let’s celebrate with a little test.

Saint Patrick is not the patron saint of snake-wrangling. In fact, there were no snakes in Ireland when Patrick was around. So what is he the patron saint of?

Saint Patrick was responsible for the construction of clay churches in 5th Century AD, making him the patron saint of engineering. Word of warning: You shouldn’t drink and engineer.

When the Irish arrived on American shores, charming New York nativist mobs created a practice on the eve of Saint Paddy’s day designed to insult the Irish. What was it called?

The practice of “Paddy Making” involved making effigies of Irish people wearing necklaces of potatoes with whiskey bottles sewn into their hands. Americans know how to welcome immigrants! The practice was banned in 1803. 

The beloved Saint Paddy’s day tradition of the Shamrock Shake once had its very own mascot. Can you name him?

Uncle O’Grimacy, who looks like a big ole’ green dancing turd wearing Leprechaun clothes, was the official mascot of the Shamrock Shake. 

What hip-hop icon shares a joint with the Leprechaun in the fifth movie in the Leprechaun franchise?

Ice-T smokes up the Leprechaun just before losing his finger in the masterpiece Leprechaun in the Hood.

The custom of drinking on Saint Patrick’s Day has a name. What is it?

Pota Phadraig or Patrick’s Pot. It is customary to drown a whamrock in your whiskey before sucking it down. No thanks. We prefer our whiskey “neat.”

Casting About in RI Politics

We played a little game at Motif one day. If we were making a film about RI politics and money were no object, who would we choose to portray our political players?
See if you agree with our picks. We’ll be over here waiting for our Oscar for pretend casting director – just like all the real casting directors.


Beach Bingo June ’18


2018 Music Awards Trivia: Band Name Shuffle

Motif-MayII-MusicAwards_TriviaUnscramble the names of these 2018 Motif Music Award Winners. See pages 12-21 of our Music Awards Issue for a cheat sheet.

1. rata shnane
2. show tabou lieharc
3. epho chanro
4. lamsyas robsallae
5. het sticpacoce
6. tucacs takact
7. rainab thew
8. shayirrap enequ
9. and rettimo


1. Tara Hansen, 2. How’s About Charlie, 3. Hope Anchor, 4. Malyssa BellaRosa, 5. The Copacetics, 6. Cactus Attack, 7. Briana White, 8. Hairspray Queen, 9. Dan Moretti

Law Trivia: Weird Holdover Laws Still in RI Books

Do you consider yourself a law-abiding citizen? See how much you know about these old laws still on the books.
1. It is illegal to throw this type of juice on a trolley.
2. It is illegal to ride this mode of transportation on a highway to test its speed.
3. When passing on the left, you must do this.
4. If your argument gets heated, avoid this at all cost.
5. Barrington residents can only collect a certain amount of this substance from the public beach.

1. Pickle. Throwing other types of juice is just considered rude.
2. A horse. Presumably, a steady trot is a-okay.
3. Give an audible warning. So that guy who blew by you giving you the finger and screaming about your mother was just following the rules!
4. Scheduling a duel. Instead, start throwing punches right away.
5. Seaweed – to use as fertilizer. If you are collecting it to throw it on a trolley, you can presumably take as much as you want.

Cannabis How To: Make an Apple Pipe with Household Objects

apple pipe how to

Signature Drinks Trivia

rgb trivia2

Answers: 1. d. Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred. 2. c. White Russian 3. a. Banana daquiri 4. e. A nice chianti 5. b. A good ol’ fashioned Old Fashioned

PRD Grrls Trivia


Spring Guide Asparagus Trivia

RGB trivia

Answers: 1. Yes! But only 25% of people have the gene needed to detect the scent. Go smell someone’s pee to test your genetic makeup! We’ll wait. 2. It’s high in an amino acid that acts as a diuretic. 3. They took it to the Alps to freeze. Pretty old school. 4. California, Michigan and Washington. 5. Three years. 6. Hey, if you can make it sound good, go with your spoken word instincts.