Maintaining an Autumn tradition, I made the first of many apple pies. The apples grew on trees in our yard, picked yesterday. I peeled, sliced, and spiced several.
Sadly, this was not my best effort. The taste is great, but the crust was not as it should be. That is entirely my fault, because I abandoned a trusted friend, Betty Crocker, and tried a French recipe. The result was unlike the old standby and not as good as crusts I have enjoyed in France....but the taste was rather good.
The unusual pattern of crust was a creative solution to a problem with the dough. The consistency did not permit rolling into a top crust, so I cut strips. These were not long enough to make a traditional woven pattern, so I improvised. No one unfamiliar with apple pies would know the difference and think this normal. I’m amazed at how the brain works in a crisis. I could have made a crumble crust, but did not want to waste the dough.
I also made a few gallons of apple sauce, which is less-easy to screw up. Most was frozen to enjoy throughout the long, cold winter, so we will not have to suffer with apple sauce from store-bought factory apples or the canned variety. Each taste will remind me of picking the apples, peeling them, and watching over the pot.
A sure sign that summer is racing towards the finish line and autumn is waiting to take the baton...
A nip in the air sparked an idea for today's post. This is a treat for anyone unable to travel to Vermont to view Fall foliage (which includes me). The photos were taken years ago, but these trees must surely still be putting on an annual show.
The best is that one must suffer no airport indignities, road rage, or soaring gas prices. There is always room at this inn, but you must serve your own drinks.
Speaking of Indians, it’s their time of year. I have no idea why they get their own summer, but, as badly as they’ve been treated, they deserve anything the white man will give them.
Today, Mother Nature showed herself from her best side. The weather was perfect for a long walk in the fields.
As you can see in the photo, the corn is as high as--not an elephant’s--a tall guy’s eye and it’s stopped growing so will never make it clear up to the sky. And, it was not a beautiful morning, but a lovely afternoon, and, yes, a beautiful day. I had no wonderful feeling, but did feel fine. Most things go my way on most days, so what more can I want?
Leaves, that is.
Early morning temperatures announce that summer is over. Leaves on the ground suggest that winter is approaching.
I like raking leaves in autumn, especially on a cold, sunny afternoon. It reminds me of my youth and misses only the smell of burning leaves. Germany does not allow open fires in one’s yard (add that to the list of forbidden practices). My children hate to rake leaves. When they were younger, I forced them to help me, simply because they needed to do something to help around the house. Both have chosen to live where there are no leaves to rake.
The first sentence that I ever wrote for the first novel that I ever attempted (still not completed, because I left it to write others and keep coming back) was: “The heat of the sauna felt good after the cold of the Autumn afternoon spent raking leaves.” That sentence has long since disappeared from later drafts: no more leaves, cold, or sauna. My writing has improved (hardly difficult), and the story has changed significantly. What had started out as the reminiscences of an old man about his military service in Vietnam, has become a first person tale about morality with almost no basis in reality. I hope to have it finished before the last leaves fall this year...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.