Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Family and Books and Apples

My house smells incredible right now.

The kids and I spent the holiday weekend shuttling from Iowa to Kansas and back again.  My family was celebrating my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary, so we headed on down for fried chicken and farm visiting and chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting and multiple stops at my great-grandma's and my maternal and my paternal grandparents' houses.  Our boys had trouble keeping track of all the great's and which person was mother and grandfather to whom.  It was fun, nonetheless.

We spent our last night at my sister Kelli's house.  Kelli has an apple tree behind her house and a cranky neighbor next to it who has had the gall to passive-aggressively question just why my sister, a woman with an 8-month-old and a two-year-old and a job and a husband who's been working insane hours for the past couple weeks because the harvest has begun, why on earth she hasn't picked and peeled and processed and made delicious old-fashioned home-cooked delicacies out of those apples.

Because I couldn't go next door and beat up an old woman up for my little sister, I instead gathered as many apples as her husband Aaron and I could reach and carted them home to Iowa.  I'm selfless like that.

I woke up this morning and pulled on jeans and a jacket, because it's September and chilly in the mornings.  Now, I'm not usually one to help summer out the door, but today I felt my autumnal urge to go out and buy some books.  Falls arrives and I'm like Aesop's Ant, scurrying around and gathering, well, not food so much as books to surround myself with in the cold months to come.  This works out well because just the other day Derek looked around and said, "You know what this house needs?  MORE BOOKS."  (I may or may not have just savagely broken the ninth commandment.)

Although I dearly, dearly wanted to, I did not deviate from our grocery list, did not go to Firehouse Books so Caedmon could cozy into a bean bag chair and look at old Little Golden Books and I could find some worn paperback gem I couldn't live without, and I only cried about it a little bit, because I am a Real Live Adult.

When we got home I consoled myself by peeling all those apples and throwing them into my pretty red dutch oven with some water and brown sugar and red hots and making myself a big old vat of applesauce.  This allowed me to pretend I have my life together for one whole hour- I just made homemade cinnamon applesauce, for crying out loud!  Never mind that I forgot today is picture day at Adelaide's school and I put her on the bus looking like she's homeless.  Never mind that there's a dead mouse stuck in a trap in the bottom of the pantry.  Not my jurisdiction, Husband.  Never mind that my children decided to bid adieu to my sister and her girls yesterday morning by spending an hour acting like they'd been raised by the Lord of the Flies rather than an actual mother and father who believe in actual discipline.  (Guess who had to spend six full hours sitting silently in the back of a van, riding home to Iowa, with nary a movie in sight despite two functioning portable DVD players staring them in their hedonistic little faces?)

But right now, my house smells incredible, and that is enough for today.


  1. Does the arrival of Fall mean that one must buy books?! Whee!

    I am so glad you aided your sister's community by harvesting and cooking apples. A big ol' vat of homemade applesauce is one of the best things in the universe.

    I read your post last night but didn't have time to comment then. You inspired me to add an apple to some chicken I was hastily stir-frying for dinner last night. Yum.

    And in reference to your comment on my blog - at any random time, I also could find at least two containers of sour cream in my fridge (if I looked). I don't even cook with it that much, so I don't know how it gets there. Must be aliens.

  2. The applesauce sounds wonderful. The neighbor? Not so much!

  3. I'm glad someone is getting some use out of our ROTTING APPLES. Did I mention the apples in our tree are ROTTING? Bitterness aside, we loved having you and although we can't adopt Adelaide, she's welcome back any time.


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