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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birthday Bounty......Apples

"Upper Crust" (As In Apple Pie) 

In early America, when times were hard and cooking supplies were scarce, cooks often had to scrimp and save on ingredients.

Apple pie was a favorite dish, but to save on lard and flour, only a bottom crust was made. More affluent households could afford both an upper and a lower crust, so those families became known as "the upper crust." Source: USApple.org
All the birthday celebrating (working in yard with Beck) has left me with the feeling that I'm not as young as I think I am.  My muscles are screaming get moving again or you'll be sorry.  So here I go. 

First things first (after all the puppy feeding, dogs out, dogs in, Maggie's medicine and other routine stuff).  Our friend Gene S. always gives Becky fruit and chocolate cake for her birthday.  Now Gene does nothing in small measures so we have 5lbs. of Apples, 5 lbs. of Bananas, 5lbs. of Grapefruit and 8lbs. of Oranges.  There is no way we can eat that much fruit before it spoils, so......I will start with dehydrating the Apples.  It is so easy to do and is a treat that we can enjoy for months to come! 
We always wash the fruit first.
Then we core,slice and arrange apples on the trays.
Then we add the most important ingredient:  Cinnamon.
Then we put the lid on, turn it on and wait.......
10 to 12 hours later, we will remove the dried fruit, store it in plastic zip lock bags, store in cool dark place and enjoy Gene's gift indefinitely.  Tomorrow......Bananas! Thank you Gene!

The heavenly smell of apples and cinnamon drifts throughout the entire house (so much better than store bought fragrance stuff and cheaper too).  Closing my eyes and listening with my heart, I can almost hear Mom and Dad talking in the other room!  Isn't it funny how some sights, sounds and smells can transport us back in time?  Nostalgia they call it.  Whatever it may be, I am lost in happy moments past.  Perhaps it is the desire to recapture these moments that drives my Simple Living lifestyle.  I have a grainy old photo of Mom and Dad that I would like to share with you. 
These truly were simpler times! Maybe I was living in an insulated bubble separating me from reality but I liked it there.  Hamburgers were .25 each, gasoline not much more, everyone planted a garden and canned the bounty to feed the family through the winter.  People would sit on the front porch in the evening and visit (actually take the time to talk to each other).  Have we really advanced or has "the wheel come off our cart"?
I choose to believe we can have the best of both worlds and live my life accordingly, thank you very much!

That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, the happy highways where I went and cannot come again.

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