Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back! The peaches are all eaten, canned, and on their way to being a beautiful memory of the summertime. But you know what comes after peaches?
Apples!! We live in major apple country (well, major everything country) so we get about 6 boxes a season, starting with Galas. Of course, Fujis are our favorite, but they won't be out for another four weeks.So, we get a box of Galas and eat them out of hand or cook with them, either way. They make good pie apples, as long as you cut the sugar a bit and don't cook too long. Good for applesauce, too.
Ok, I really needed something fried and sugary since I've been on this diet. It's been about two days and I'm going to die if I don't get something very, very unhealthy in my system. So, this is an act of self-preservation. And, for the good of the world, and all that.
I found this recipe on allrecipes and the original recipe makes 6 to 8 fried pies, and we have 8 people here so I doubled the recipe. I'm going to give the original measurements, but my pictures will show a lot more than they ask for. (Got it? Good!)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
(Right, basically pie dough, like your momma taught you.)
Filling is 2 apples, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 tsp cinnamon
Chop the apples add the sugar and cinnamon. Cook for 10 minutes on the stove top, stirring constantly until soft.
Minor digression. I love pecan pie. LOVE IT. And I thought it would be fun to fry some mini pecan pies. Hmmmm. Good intentions and all that, right? So, pecan pie filling recipe here. I cooked it on the stove for about ten minutes, because it has eggs and I wasn't sure if frying the little pies would get the filling hot enough to kill off any bacteria. Just in case, ya know?
This is Louise. She's an old hand at pie dough. She practically does all the hard work herself! I jut put my hands on those two skinny parts and push. Like magic!
Here are my helpers, cutting out biscuit-shaped rounds. I would say using the biscuit cutter but I don't have one. We just used wide-mouthed lids. It worked just fine and now I can advance from drop biscuits to those pretty shaped ones.
- Place the filling in the middle and fold, pressing the edges with a fork. (I know, Ruthy already had a post on fried pies and hers even had sour cherries inside! But just pretend you've never seen any of this before.)
- Lots of leftover dough. Hmmmmm. What shall we make?
Here is one, ready to be dropped into BOILING OIL. Have I ever mentioned that I never fry food? I have a fear of boiling oil. I think in a past life, I must have been dipped in boiling oil by a conquering army. (Ok, so, I don't believe in past lives, but I hate to sound like a big weenie who can't fry bacon because the sound of the popping grease gives me the heebie jeebies.)
I sent all the children outside to play in the sprinklers (don't worry, it was about 89F) and stood over the hot, hot stove. I hope you're feeling sorry for me.
Picnic time! I brought out fresh apples, little fried pies and Tillamook cheddar cheese. I love cheddar and apples. Our friend Cassey puts the cheddar right on the apple pie. I'm not that weird, but I do love tang of cheddar against the bright sweetness of a perfect apple.
As we enjoyed the perfect moment of a late summer day, lounging on towels in the hot sun and eating something so very American, I couldn't help thinking of tomorrow.
Everyone has a story of where they were when they first heard of 9/11. I'm no different. But what I remember the clearest, that morning (we're on the West coast so the towers had already fallen by the time I found out) is my two little girls.
We rolled out of bed, all three of us, since early morning meant their Papa had gone to work and everybody wound up in the big bed. Isabel was 2, Ana was 6 months, and we were sleepy-happy, warm and contented. I turned on the coffee maker, the girls were playing with crayons and paper in the living room.
Isabel asked to watch Sesame Street so I turned on the TV.
That was not what we saw. They were too young to understand why every channel was the news. They were too young to see how Katie Couric fought back tears and or hear how Jim Miklaszewski's voice broke when he reported from the burning Pentagon.
Most of the day is lost to me, I don't remember it at all. But I do remember my children, who could not understand what was happening in our country.
Two years after.
Three years after.
We didn't lose anyone we knew in the attack, not even a cousin-of-a-friend-of-a-classmate sort of thing. But the ripples spread outward, every year, with every child who listens a little bit closer to the people who were there.
Four years after.
Five years after.
Six years after.
Seven years after.
Eight years after.
Nine years after.
Ten years later.
Eleven years later.
Twelve years later.
So, I look at these pictures and I see perfect innocence, and gradual acceptance. It makes me angry that there are times when I have to explain what evil is, and how good people suffer even though they don't deserve anything bad to happen to them. And I know there are folks who don't want to bring a child into a world like that.
But in between these anniversary months, there has been a lifetime of innocence. Especially when a new baby comes into our family, we look into that sweet face, and breathe in that innocence. Because it will end, sometime.
We bundle up and stand outside, hoping for just ONE SNOWFLAKE.
We watch them fight over who gets to hold the baby now, and who is going to expire from having to wait SO long for his turn.
We wrap them in a quilt and sit in front of the open door, listening to the rain and the thunder, because although there is evil in the world, there is still innocence. We soak it up, hold it tight, breathe it in, and study the finite moments between innocence and understanding.
And we vow to do our best to work for peace and justice in our small corner. It starts in the family. It starts between me and you.