6 Apples in Heaven
I discovered on Saturday that my new neighbor does not make applesauce or bake, this was great news for me as I had just made a huge vat of applesauce and had 6 pie fillings on the agenda for Sunday’s apple storage plan; making a 7th would be easy to accomplish and I would give a good welcome gift.
I have no recipe for apple pie and I never have and this has put me in that between a rock and a hard place zone several times in my life; it has also been a great teacher. My Father was a great organizer of our household during harvest time and we all had to gather to pick fruit and vegetables and then can, jam, bake and freeze. It was a team effort. It is important here to note that my Grandmother and Mother never had a recipe for apple pie either – well one that was written down. Every year apple pie fillings went into the freezers to come out for crusting and dinner all during the winter months. I don’t remember not knowing how to make apple pie and the pie babies that we got to cook and eat on production day – yum!
At age 16 my Father moved our family to Cleveland, Ohio from a city of 38,000 people and State population of a million to a city of one million. I had taken all the required Spanish classes and now had to learn French and several other classes that were not required for graduation at my old school. I found myself in an Advanced Placement Home Economics classroom with a wonderful teacher, Ms. Paterson. The other students in this class were going to college to major in Home Economics and this was a preparation class to take the Betty Crocker Scholarship Exam. Our 6 person cooking unit was assigned, the second week of school, to make 6 apple pies for a huge all school district teacher’s meeting on Friday. I knew how to make apple pie, so I wrote down and ordered supplies and turned that into the teacher. By Wednesday, it became apparent that I was going to do the whole assignment alone as part of my “new kid” welcoming trial. I did get two girls of the five to help peel apples so Ms Paterson would not become suspicious. On Thursday while our apple pies were baking I helped two other groups with their crusts. Friday while the pies were being consumed and evaluated with grades, we wrote up our cooking labs and rated our experience.
Monday morning Ms Paterson brought the news that the apple pies had received superior evaluations and the only A for the event. The recipe was to be printed up and put in the school yearbook. I had to confess that I had no recipe card or recipe except that which was inside my head. I received an immediate F for apple pies and had to write up a recipe with my family to be received by the yearbook staff by the following Monday. I wrote a recipe full of words like “pinch”, ”tad”, and “feels right”. Not considered for literary license, this recipe card gave me another F. I won honorable mention for flower arranging and I won a new invention called a Microwave Oven, and then a Convection Range from the Cleveland Illuminating Company for the school. All those F’s from Ms Paterson were the most amazing gifts I have ever been given. I took every workshop I could and which was being offered to these prestigious students to prepare for the grueling Betty Crocker Exam, thus allowing me to escape the classroom, Ms Paterson, and my classmates, and I learned how to learn. I also learned to set my own goals and style of disciple, which has put me way ahead in creating satisfaction in my life; I am sure this is the result of all these failures. So an apple pie with apples from my own tree created as beautifully as I can make it is the perfect welcome gift I can imagine.
What is your perfect gift? What inspired you to do your best? What is your best discipline? What is your learning style? How do you meet someone new – in person or online?
I am sure Ms Paterson was happy to see me go, for her parting reference to me was to award me the Betty Crocker Scholarship!