Piles of apple cores. The smell of cooking apples. The moist sweet-smelling steam of apples simmering. The sticky foodmill.
Simple things with powerful memories.
As a child, throughout my childhood, we made applesauce as a family. We all picked the apples. We all washed and cut the apples. Mom stirred the apples on the stove. Dad cranked (and cranked and cranked and cranked) the food mill. And, for months and months to come we ate the perfectly, naturally sweet and pink (from the peels) applesauce that we stored in our freezer.
Making applesauce is a tradition that I proudly carry on.
This past weekend, my eldest daughter and I set to work to turn 40 lbs of apples into deliciousness. She jumped right in. Grabbed her apron. Washed her hands. Said enthusiastically, "what's my job?"
For the next few hours we talked and took turns cutting apples, stirring the pot, and running the cooked apples through the hand cranked food mill. Half-way through the process she turned to me and said with a huge happy sigh, "I love the smell of apple steam." She's my girl, for sure.
Baby R (when do you think I should stop calling her a baby?) woke up as the first big batch was ready. I put her in her chair and handed her bowl. As if she knew what was coming, she started chanting, "Yum, yum, yum."
I'm a Maine-r. Or, at least I like to think I am. True locals will argue differently simply because I wasn't born in Maine -- I'm "from away" they say. Whatever. It is crystal clear to me that I was born to live in Maine. Here's the catch. I fell in love with someone who really is "from away". So, I spend big chunks of time in a place very far from where I call home. But, I'm trying to bloom where planted, as they say. I'm trying to foster a simple (or at least a little simpler than some), reasonably wholesome and creative life for my family whether we're here or there. And, well, since you stopped here at my blog, you get to explore this craziness with me.