Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I made applesauce this morning

We have one apple tree in our yard. The first year it produced 3 apples. We stretched them to make one pie. The next year was last year, we had that late frost in April and it killed all the blooms so we had no apples last year. But this year! Oh my did our little tree produce! We've been picking apples for a month, and I still have a few hanging on!

And these are not your typical backyard apple tree apples. They look like the ones you purchase at Kroger! I kid you not, when I get a little more time than I've had these past few days, I'm gonna download the pictures I took and put them on here so you can see what I'm talking about.

We've given away bookoodles of apples--I furnished my neighbor Lisa's entire school. She's a teacher and she took some with her to share with the others! They were so well received she came back for seconds (which we were more than happy to give.)

I've made two pies and three cakes, and today...I made applesauce.

That's a first for me, and when you get to be my age, "firsts" are red letter days on the calendar! I took the bag of apples my other neighbor shared with me (on Saturday her two little grandsons came over lugging a sack filled with apples between them. They explained that their grandma sent them over--we smiled, said "thank you" even though we didn't need anymore apples and thought they were incredible cute until the little one said, "I'm a Alabama BAMA!" Still kinda cute, even for a bama fan.) When they went home we did the taste test. Her apples were more the backyard variety. But still good for making applesauce.

Now this you need to know about me. I can't stand for anything to go to waste! (That's why I've gained the typical 20 in my 20 plus years of marriage and 16 plus years of parenting.) I HATE IT! I either freeze or make muffins out of brown bananas. I just can't toss them out. So, with apples piling up and all my friends supplied, I just thought, why not make some applesauce?!

As soon as the girls left for school, I started peeling apples. It was 7AM, I was in my nightclothes, knife in hand, apples rinsing in the sink, peeling and coring 24 cups of apples. (I'm sure I lost count) That's when it hit me...memories of Grandma Smith. I spent a week of each summer at her house, and she was always doing something. Shelling peas, stringing beans, blanching apples, soaking pickles--always something. She had a pantry that was really a closet in her kitchen (a very dark closet). And her closet was stacked with Mason Jars. Jellies, Jams, Preserves, Relishes, Pickles (sweet, dill, even watermelon rind!)...such amazing memories. I could almost see her wrinkled hands holding wormy apples, peeling them with ease (I must tell you that I've yet to find one worm in my apples--they are amazing!!).

If made me kinda sad remembering her and Papa like that. They got up so early in the morning that they'd already worked two hours before serving breakfast. I waited to rise to the smell of bacon frying for the breakfast. My papa always ate breakfast with us, and he read the daily Bible reading from his little devotional booklet--I think it might have been "My Daily Bread." Grandma would fiddle with the napkin as he read, then we'd all bow our heads for his prayer. I can't remember all of his prayer but this is how it always ended, "Lord, bless the bereaved, the poor and the less fortunate than we. Amen."

Sweet memories. I don't ever remember seeing my Grandma sit still--unless she was showing me how to crochet, or showing my mother the quilt she was working on. As my apples boiled, I could almost close my eyes and imagine I was in her kitchen. She'll be 95 next week. We're almost exactly 50 years apart in age. (Hmmm, I'm almost to where she was when I was born!) She never wanted this to happen, but it happened anyway. Tiny little strokes and dementia robbed her of our mind and today she sits in a nursing home still fiddling with her napkins. If only she could know that I made applesauce this morning...she'd be proud.

3 comments:

Melissa Lee said...

I got your comment and was glad I could help. You did need a laugh this morning, for sure.

Hope sitting around eating your applesauce helps, but I'll tell ya, there's a lot of good "deep friend apple recipes" that you should have considered. :)

Melissa

Dori said...

Leighann,

When I was a little girl, my grandfather was a "circuit song leader" -- oh, yes he was! He would travel from little country church to little country church and would lead the "song service." :) (Typing that just makes me smile!)

We would go with him sometimes and sing. I can remember standing on a stage singing "Jesus is coming soon, morning or night or noon..." before I could really even read or write very well.

At any rate, one of the things I remember was that in the "vestibule" of those little churches was always "The Lord's Supper Table" with a carving of "In Remembrance of Me." They would store it there, between the restroom doors and the water fountain, until they needed it once a quarter. But on the other Sundays during the quarter you would almost always find a basket on it and a sign that said, "Free Tomatoes."

I am not making this up! :)

So, what I was thinking is that you should set you up a little basket -- or at TSC it would have to be a BIG basket -- and you could give away some of your delicious bounty. It could be apples or it could be jars of your yummy applesauce!

You could have your a sign that said, "Free Apples -- from Sister Pastor!"

Oh, yes ma'am, you could!!

Have a blessed day!!

Dori

Kevin said...

Leighann,

I was just reading your blog and your memories of your grandparents made me think of mine. I just had a dream of my sweet Grandma that passed away just two years ago, last night. In my dream she was the plump Grandma that I knew growing up. She was all dressed up in a bright yellow blouse, which is very unlike my Grandma because she never wore bright colors, anyway...her hair was very nicely done and she just had a bit of lipstick on. I remember in my dream she walked through the door and looked right at me and smiled her beautiful smile. I reached for her and hugged her and as I hugged her with my head resting on her chest I just sighed and such a warm feeling came over me and I thought to myself "oh Grandma I've missed you so." I believe God gave me that dream for a reason. You see, my Aunt just passed away Thursday afternoon, this is the 3rd of my Grandma's children, my dad included that has passed away in the past 4 years and I've had Grandma on my mind a lot these past two days and I believe God just gave me that sweet dream to reasure me that she was still alive in my memories and the bright yellow blouse represented the gold streets of heaven where she now lived along with my aunts and dad. Isn't God just amazing how He comforts us in our time of need? I know this is long but your blog just brought all my childhood memories back to me and reminded me how blessed we all are to have a wonderful heritage that our grandparents handed down to us.

Peggy