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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In Praise of Apples by Andi Johnson

"What a healthy out-of-door appetite it takes to relish the apple of life, the apple of the world, then!"  ~ Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples

[Warning: This blog may be hazardous to your diet.]

Here in the northeast, it’s apple pickin’ time.  It probably is where you live, too.  And, most of us know a place to pick the “best” apples.  I know several.  It’s a true community and family event at these places.  You get your basket, go into the rows of trees, and pick those ripe, juicy apples from the trees.  You strike up a conversation with the person at the next tree over, making a connection with that person.  (If you’re lucky, these places also sell the cider, and perhaps cider donuts.  If you haven’t had a fresh, warm cider donut, you’ll have to find one.) 

Eating one of apples on your way home, and thinking about whether you have the ingredients to make a crust, and eat the pie. (Don’t forget the butter…and the vanilla ice cream or sharp cheddar), your mind wanders through your years: watching your mom or grandmother make that perfect apple pie.  The making of the crust: rolling it out, and placing it in the dish.  Peeling & cutting the apples.  Adding the spices, a little sugar, and placing it all into the bottom crust.  Carefully rolling out the top crust, and crimping the edges.  You bake it in the oven, and making the house smell scrumptious. 

Of course, Pillsbury makes it easier, and we all must have apple corer-slicer-peelers for just such occasions.  I could even pick up the local apples at the grocery store. 

But, for a change, I think I’ll make my pie the way my mom and grandma did: to honor the past, to think about the connections of the generations before me.  Stopping for the food rituals, going through the old recipes, often help me think of those who have gone before me. 

Time to go apple pickin’.

How are you called to make connections with your ancestors?

P.S. Don’t forget to put on the coffee or tea, and invite a friend over to share in your creation.  And, it’s okay to have apple pie for breakfast.

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