The very last tree that my dad planted on his farm in Chambersville was a golden delicious apple. When I was visiting my mother at the end of summer, the tree was full of apples and we picked as many as we could reach.
They were pretty hard and not particularly delicious for eating raw (it turns out that part of the reason was that we were picking them before they were completely ripe). I took a big load home and froze them for later enjoyment.
My very favorite way to eat an apple is when it’s a good, crisp, juicy, sweet raw apple–my personal favorite right now being a honey crisp. My second favorite is apple crisp–apples sliced and baked with cinnamon and topped with a crumble of oats, flour, butter, and brown sugar. I especially enjoy it warm and topped with Greek yogurt.
Yesterday at church we had our money stewardship ingathering, and to celebrate we had a big Thanksgiving lunch after the 10.30 service. Sonya and the St. Ann’s ministry moved the tables to make long rows for family style sitting together, and then decorated the tables with beautiful decorations. Every one brought a dish to share–heavy on the desserts, dressing, and macaroni and cheese–and Traci roasted a turkey. We were full of joy–and delicious food.
I decided that making a crisp from the apples picked from my mom’s tree was what I wanted to share. I hadn’t peeled the apples or dipped them in lemon juice before freezing, so they weren’t the prettiest apples ever; in fact, one parishioner complemented my plum crisp. Still, with a little extra honey and cinnamon, it passed the taste test as far as I was concerned.
When my daughter, Lisa, was a little girl one of her favorite books was Rain Makes Applesauce. Turns out that it now has a Facebook page, and you can even read the words of the story on the internet. I never cook with apples that I don’t remember the joy it was reading that book together and saying the refrain, “And rain makes applesauce. Oh, you’re just talking silly talk.” My son and I read it, too, and I now read it with my grandsons when I go to visit them.
Later this week I’ll go to my mom’s for Thanksgiving. Both of my brothers, one of my nephews, and one of my brother’s friends will be there, and the friend is cooking the turkey. It will be a small gathering, and I know that I’ll miss my children and grandchildren, my other nephew, and our extended family of cousins. My mother has said she has a hankering for some apple crisp, so I’ll make some for her to enjoy.
It’s cold and rainy today but I feel warm inside–thinking of happy memories of my children and books and family gatherings with both my birth family and my church family, too. I’ll warm up a little leftover apple crisp in a bit and top it with yogurt. My heart is full of thanks–for a warm home, and enough food to share, and so very much love in my life.
As Julian of Norwich says,
Thanking is a true understanding of who we really are. With reverence and awe we turn ourselves around toward the working that our Good Lord incites us to do, enjoying and thanking with our real selves. True thanking is to enjoy God.