There is a tree that we see everyday that grows by our driveway. I have never given much credit to this tree – It gets in the way when we mow the grass and it has never looked the best. It has been known to drop tiny apples from its scraggly branches, so I always guessed it was a crabapple tree. Wrong again … This year it has produced some large, for real, apples! That can mean only one thing … Apple Pie.
The tree is tall. This means I can break out my favorite tool purchase for the property to date – the fruit picker. If you have any fruit trees at all and do not have this tool, you need to get it and be amazed at the efficiency of its simple design. It is a super long pole with a metal basket that has a foam cushion on the bottom so your fruit has a soft landing pad. The teeth at the top of the basket are great for grabbing around the top of the fruit, but also have the ability to grab branches so that when there are stubborn ones you can’t reach you can shake the entire branch. Disclaimer – do not let anyone stand under the branch while you shake it, or maybe let them, it’s your call. The apples in our first harvest are not the prettiest but they are tasty! Even though there are a few apples up really high that are taunting me I think I have enough.
From my childhood, Apple pie has always been and will always be Aunt Jan’s specialty. She is a great cook, but you know how it is, there is one food that one special person makes that no one else can even come close to replicating. I will follow her recipe from the family cookbook and it will be good, but it won’t be hers. (Look at the amazing pie dish too – this was a gift and is a part of Ree Drummonds new collection. The dish is just so pretty … I have a thing for dishes and pitchers).
While making this pie I cannot help but think about her. She has been such a huge part of my life that it is hard to even talk about that a few years ago we almost lost her. I remember seeing her in the ICU and knowing without any doubt that she would be ok. I knew it in my core and it is something that I will never be able to explain to anyone. Her eyes gave me a flutter under her eyelids and my gut feelings that she would be ok were confirmed right then and there. The fact that she is still here is nothing short of miraculous.
The pie is good, it is not good like hers, but it will do. It feels good to know that we are eating something that may have been planted by family, and that all of their hard work does not go unnoticed. As I eat yet another piece of pie (the entire reason that I ran today) I take the time to thank her and to be grateful for the influences and support she has given me in my life – they have not gone unnoticed either. As I continue to do this project I am realizing how meaningful the whole thing is becoming. So is it a post about apple pie? That and so much more …