Pie Tales

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I’ll bring an apple pie!

A few weeks ago, our new friends who live down the hall invited us to share Thanksgiving dinner with them and their extended family. We were honored. Also grateful, as we were not going to be able to spend it with our adult children and their families.

It’s an unusual kind of apple pie...I warned my friend. The apples aren’t peeled. There’s no top crust… I also have to make it gluten free.

She was fine with whatever I wanted to make.

It is also huge…filling a lasagna pan.

At Thanksgiving, there is no such thing as moderation. Ever. Especially when it comes to pie. The turkey? The stuffing? And all the rest?

Just the path to pie.

In Thanksgivings past there were always at least 3 kinds of pie at my table…to go along with family shenanigans and card games (as shared in my 2018 Thanksgiving story). I miss all of it.

The most popular? “Hearty Apple Pie” – each slice 2 inches high by many inches wide.

Well, it has been a few years since I made this pie. After downsizing and moving and spending Thanksgivings by ourselves, there was no need to make one until now.

I still had the old family recipe.

As I assembled the ingredients yesterday, I thought…what could go wrong?

First step: substitute gluten free flour blend for the real thing. Press into the pan.

pie crust

Doesn’t quite look the same, but should be fine in the end. It’s PIE after all.

Next step: Core the apples. Can’t mess that one up.

apples cored

 

Next step: Slice apples in the food processor.

Um…the food processor doesn’t work. I tried a different outlet. Nope. My husband and I tried several variations of blades and positioning of the “pusher assembly” and the cover. Still nothing.

Find the directions! 

A fuzzy memory rose to the top of my aging brain. This was the new(ish) food processor we had gotten about 10 years ago. It had replaced the nice simple one from 1978. Back when there were no complicated safety features. When it was your own fault if you stuck your finger in when the blade was running. Back when you popped the blade in, snapped on the cover (the only safety feature) – added the apples through the hole in the top…and voila! sliced or chopped results.

Much simpler.

Not anymore. The current small appliance companies are in the business of saving us from ourselves. Which, in many cases, is necessary. As it turned out, there were 3 different steps and clickings into place that I had to perform before even one apple could be sliced.

I was annoyed for 2 reasons. First that I had forgotten what to do and second, that it had become necessary to make devices so complicated that I had to remember this sequence in the first place. (probably a third reason as well – that I was turning into the old fart I never wanted to be…complaining about newfangled stuff…).

Anyway, after much huffing and puffing and locating the directions…success.

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Next step: Mix with lots of yummy spices. No holding back here…

mix apples

Next step: Transfer to the waiting piecrust…

ready to bake

(fyi: covered apples with brown sugar, almonds and dots of butter which look like cheese…but aren’t)

After baking:

baked

Extra Large Apple Pie ready to share…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

(where there’s no such thing as moderation)

 

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #74: Moderation

Wishing

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #72: Wish

~~~

Close your eyes.

Make a wish.

Blow all the candles out at once!

So your wish will come true…

 

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A healthy baby.

One, then two.

Wish them strong and happy.

Wish they always follow their dreams.

Stay safe from year to year.

Wish them confident and sure.

Lives full of love

and

light.

 

So thankful…

For all those years

I blew out every candle.

 

What do I wish for now?

walking together

More time.

 

 

 

Corner Forsythia

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Back Catalogue

My challenge to you is to find an image in your back catalog that still grabs your attention and share it…if you want to re-interpret the image with what you have gained over the years, feel free to do so.

~~~

corner forsythia 2010

There is just something about this bright yellow flowering bush that I am drawn to.

Is it because one flourished in the corner of the front yard where I grew up? Or, more specifically, where I lived when I was 4 to 11 years old. Where the vast majority of my happy moments were spent outdoors. That particular forsythia was actually situated in the next door neighbor’s yard…right on the lot line. I always thought it was ours.

Is it because the happiest of my childhood family photos were taken in front of it? On special days when I wore a dress-up dress with my stick straight hair fancied up and curled for the occasion. Which was usually Mother’s Day or Easter or my birthday. My grandparents were often there. Or dear family friends. Gathered around. Smiling.

 

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corner forsythia 1960

Whatever the reason…

When I was all grown up, a homeowner and married with 2 children of my own, I mentioned how much I’d like to have a forsythia in the front corner of the front yard.

So on Mother’s Day 1990, I got one. And then another one for the other front corner a year later.

There were many places where happy family photos were taken while my children were growing up. Both indoors and outdoors.

 

forsythia 1991
corner forsythia 1991

But there was always something extra special about the front corner of the front yard and that bright yellow flowering forsythia…

For a brief few weeks every Spring.

 

 

Profile

Inspired by One Word Sunday: Profile

 

Many years ago…

During a rare visit from long distance family, I caught this moment of rest for three very sweaty and tired cousins. Collapsed on the living room floor after a hot August day spent playing outside in our backyard. More than ready for some down time.

My son and two of his cousins…watching television all in a row.

cousins 1993014 copy

 

 

Choice Connections

Inspired by Lens-Artist Challenge #53: Your Choice

Happy Anniversary to the women who host the Lens-Artist Challenge – celebrating one year by…suggesting that you respond to today’s challenge with any subject that’s near and dear to YOUR hearts, as we’ve done with our images today. If you’d prefer some guidance, choose any of the four subjects we’ve selected this week (Friendship, Imagination, Connected or A Country that’s special to you).

~~~

What subject is near and dear to my heart?

My family below…and scenes like this one from post Christmas 2017 festivities.

Enjoying a family sing-along.

Complete with my husband, son-in-law, son & daughter on guitar and my 18 month old grandson on his new kid-size djembe drum.

I am carefully balanced on a step stool trying my best to capture the moment. While singing.

 

sing-along 2017
Family Circle 2017

 

Outdoors

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo. The prompt: Outdoors

 

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Tree Farm 2008

 

Outdoors…

Where my family of 4 played, walked, explored, planted, vacationed and amassed countless memories.

We also discovered…it was the only place where you could carefully pick out a Christmas tree.

From many tree options.

And cut it down yourself.

For 28 years we piled into the car and drove the few miles to a local Christmas tree farm. Usually in early December. In later years, when the kids were in college, we went the weekend after Thanksgiving – so they could both participate.

It began with just my husband and me. Then with our daughter. Five years later our son completed the family group. His first visit, at age 4 weeks, was in a front pack I wore close to my chest.

Up and down the paths we’d search. The kids running ahead. Often in different directions (hence no photos from those years)…Here’s one! No, here’s one! Look I found it! What about THIS one?

We hunted for just the right tree. Tall, but not too tall. Wide, but not too wide. No big gaps (or gapes as they used to giggle) between the branches.  We also learned to avoid the blue spruces with their prickly needles. Sometimes it took a while for nature to cooperate with our requirements. And often there was snow to tromp through…adding to the adventure and challenge.

We’d agree – finally – on the perfect (or near perfect) choice. Cut it down. Carefully tie it to the roof of the station wagon. And bring it home.

If we weren’t buying it that day, we attached a tag with our name written on it to the top branch. Nearer to December 25th, we’d return – with our handsaw. And hopefully remember where our tagged tree was!

Once our children stopped coming home for Thanksgiving to participate in the weekend tree tagging, this tradition came to its natural end in 2009 – our last family trip to the tree farm.

 

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2003 tree027 copy
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