Grandma’s Apple Pie

This past week I made a homemade apple pie. I was going to pull out my new peeler/corer attachment to my KitchenAid®, but I chose to do it by hand and let some precious memories flow instead.

She used this and an electric dryer later on

When I was a young girl I loved going over to Nana’s (my grandmother’s) house most times. There were the occasions that I hated it as well; like doing laundry with her on a Monday! She used an old-fashioned wringer washer. Those old beasts were brutal! Sometimes when I wasn’t paying close enough attention, my fingers would get into the rollers and feed my hand in up to my knuckles! At that point it would pop open, but by then I was already screaming at the top of lungs. It didn’t get me out of finishing though. I was scolded for not paying attention (she was correct), and then she would rub my hand and kiss it… then back to work girl! Later in the day she made us the most delectable ham and swiss sandwiches on Italian bread to be washed down with Pepsi-cola while we watched the afternoon feature film. But Monday mornings were all business! She was busy getting the clothes that were drying on the line outside or hung downstairs in the winter. She would take Grandpa’s shirts and slacks and slightly dampen them with a Pepsi bottle topped with a spigot sprinkler and then roll them up and put into the freezer until time to iron. I did learn to iron from her, and you know what; I love ironing to this day. Many think it is a terrible chore but to me it is freedom from stress and worry. Just pop on some good music and boogie on down while you iron away.

Around the holidays, Nana always made the apple pies. They were glorious and I always ate way too much dolloped with schlog (DreamWhip). A few times I was there for the preparation. It started with Grandpa peeling and coring and slicing up bowls and bowls of Macintosh apples, with 1 large sweet apple added per pie made. Now this was done meticulously under her watchful eye with lots of directions. He would look at Nana and say, “Sarah, do you want these done right or done fast?” I loved when he could peel an apple all in one strip! She would just smile at us cheering away.

Spaghetti pot turned into an apple mixing bowl

In the meantime, she would be working on the pie crusts. I got snippets of directions, ‘Always use fresh Crisco and icy ice water; don’t touch the dough too much with your hands or it won’t be flaky, use the wooden spoon instead; chill the bottom crust before you fill it or bake it.’ These things are hard to find in a cookbook these days. Then she used the correct amount of sugar and cinnamon with a dash of salt and cloves in the huge spaghetti pot now holding ALL of those apple slices. The pot was not for cooking at this time. It was the only bowl/pot large enough to hold everything at one time. Oh, I forgot about the cornstarch; always add a few tablespoons to the big pot and then a sprinkle on each individual pie, along with a pat of butter cut up in tiny pieces and strewn about before crowning the heaping masterpiece with the top crust. Pinch the sides just so, then she would go over it with a fork making tine marks all around the perimeter. Slits cut into the top and then egg wash painted onto the top crust and they were ready for the oven! It was so hard to smell those pies and know I would not be tasting them today! Personally, I think Grandpa should get as much of the credit as Nana for the pies. But he never would take it.

Being a foodie and a baker, I can re-create her recipe in a snap. What I cannot recreate is the fun time I had learning from her and Grandpa. So, I created times with my children through the years baking and cooking and sewing (and laundry and ironing).

Tom & Sarah Cambria
aka… Nana and Grandpa

I also cannot recreate how my grandparents overcame things that life can throw at you so unkindly sometimes. They were of the Greatest Generation. They didn’t throw things away just because they were broken. They fixed things or made do with them and were still thankful no matter what. They taught us not to be wasteful of anything, and to give to the less fortunate. We all are learning or relearning these things in this time of being home for safety with this world wide COVID-19 flu pandemic. Both of them survived the Spanish flu of 1917-1918, WW1, StockMkt crash 1929, WW2, and on and on….

They were officers in the Volunteers of America for a long time, but didn’t actually accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour until they were well into their 60’s. So, I can make her/their pie AND I will get to see them again in Heaven one day. My heart is so happy!

This month is the anniversary of Nana’s birthday on the 15th and their Anniversary on the 7th. When they stepped into Heaven in 2002 and 2003, they had been married for 68 years. I know they are probably up there Square Dancing for their King of Kings.

Prayer Time

Isaiah 41:10 (NASB)
10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Dear Father,
Thank you for giving me such great grandparents. They weren’t perfect people, but they were perfect for me. I bless their memory. Help me to give what you have taught me to others freely and openly and transparently. They knew it was okay to be a mess sometimes, and that Love wins in the end. Thank you for that stability.

Signed, Christine
A muse of the Remnant

My apple pie with the fork tine marks just like Nana’s

Decorating for Easter

We had securely tucked all of the Snowmen regalia away for another season. We place them out after Himself packs up Christmas for the year. It is a way for me to extend the holidays I guess. My house feels almost nekkid when all of the festive decorations are put way. I like to keep the snowmen out until the end of March hoping for a good snowfall! It snowed only maybe once or twice this year, but in lieu of flurries and drifting we had a pandemic hit the world. A very sobering time. A time to dig down deep and muster up all of the Faith, Hope, Joy and Patience that one is able.

I found myself becoming a gloomy-gus, and that is not me at all. Himself and I were discussing what was happening around the world and we prayed for all of our families, friends and leaders. Then I remembered what always brought me peace and mentioned that I needed to memorize more scripture like I used to do in my younger days. We committed to memorize Psalm 91 in its entirety. I cannot even tell you how comforting that has been to us this past week or so. Then we heard Pastor J talk about that particular Psalm that next Sunday! Ms Chatty was watching online church too and thought that was a good idea, so we 3 were diving in. We didn’t care which version was being used either. Then I spoke with my sister CajunBelle and she and her hubby Ranger signed up to memorize as well!

We are all craving stability right now. The Word of God is the only stability that has never changed. It is the one thing that I have relied on since I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour on a personal level when I was 18. He is true to His Word and even watches over it to perform it. And… He cares so much about all of us, down to protecting us and all that we have to do is ask.

Back to my snowmen, or lack thereof. My living and dining room were looking very sterile with everything put away. Then Himself, knowing me oh so well, brought out a huge red container from the garage. Our Easter decorations!!!  Then next day I dusted off surfaces and cleaned where I could one-armed and then opened the box. I gently opened the smaller containers and placed our treasures around our home. These bring so much joy to me. I love Easter even more than Christmas, and I think we all know how much I love Christmas!

 While setting up the resurrection set, it brought to my memory the Bible passages about all that my Jesus went through on what we term Holy Week. The ridicule, the pain, the torment the rejection from even his father that he endured for me (and everyone) is beyond my understanding, but I am eternally grateful to Him for his sacrifice so that I can live forever with Him in Heaven one day.

But the story did not stop at the Cross. The bible says that Jesus descended into Hell. Can you imagine???!!  Satan really thought that he had Jesus… Then Jesus rightfully grabbed the keys of Death and Hell from him and then Rose Up From The Dead! He beat the foe.. for you and for me, and for everyone. He beat him forever. Now we have the opportunity to reap those rewards that He won for us. Like I said, I am forever grateful. I did nothing to deserve this immense love. But it was freely given to me. I just had to ask.

In the pictures below you will notice that I love to decorate with eggs. To me they are a symbol that my God is 3-in-1; The Father, Jesus, His son, and the Holy Spirit [the shell, the white and the yolk]. When I looked it up online it read: The egg itself became a symbol of the Resurrection. Just as Jesus rose from the tomb, the egg symbolized new life emerging from the eggshell. In the Orthodox tradition, eggs are painted red to symbolize the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.

I’m not certain of all of that, but I love color and I love eggs and I love Jesus! And seeing that I cannot have you over till this pandemic is over for coffee and a Danish to celebrate, I thought I would share some pictures with you. I hope that they bring some Hope and Joy into your day today.

Thank you, Father, for the gift of your son Jesus who, by agreeing to take on all of my sins and the world’s sins upon himself on the Cross at Calvary. He knew what He was up against and still chose to stand in for me because He loved me that much. I cannot fathom that depth of love, and I love deeply. Thank you that it didn’t stop at His death, but that He came up out of that Grave!! Glory!

Please help me to be more like Him, to emulate Him in what I do, how I speak and even think. You are a good good God.

Eternally Yours,

Christine… A muse of the remnant