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.
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