Essays

Apple Pie

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I woke up this morning and noticed a cool breeze blowing a few leaves off Carpenter Country’s Sycamore tree. It’s only September, but could it be fall?

Maybe, just for today, I thought. And that triggered a memory.

Apple pie!

In the days before packaged desserts, the annual fall ritual began with mom and me taking a walk to the orchard to pick apples. Then it was back to the kitchen, where she’d peel, slice, throw in a pinch of this and a dab of that, circle the fruit in a pastry shell and place the whole thing in the oven.

Soon, the heady scent of cinnamon and baking apples filled the kitchen.

Fast forward to now.

What a difference the years have made. My apple pie comes boxed up and ready to bake. All the dashes of this and pinches of that have already been added.

And below the startling list of ingredients are instructions. Remove the plastic wrap before putting the pie in the oven. When taking baked food from the stove wear insulated mitts. Be sure to watch out–the pie plate could bend–don’t grab anything until everything cools down.

Duh!

Of course, the convenience is great and the kitchen does smell like old times. Yet it’s definitely not the same as homemade.

So, maybe later when the leaves are really flying off the Sycamore, I should find an orchard, pick some apples, pat out a pie crust, add a pinch of this, a pat of that, throw in some flavor…?

Nah, I’d probably burn myself trying to get the finished product out of the oven.

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