Friday, March 25, 2011

Kitchen Therapy

The world sure seems all roiled up lately...can't get away from it no matter what you listen to.

More earthquakes, wars, bad news--everywhere you look.

It's unavoidable; it's not just something every now and then, it's many things--every single day.

Gives us plenty of reasons to pray.

For a little diversion from thinking about what a mess things are...there's nothing better for the soul than needing to do some canning.  

It's a job that has a beginning, an end, and a pleasing result--all lined up to see, touch and to taste.

Just what I need to soothe the soul.  

Time to think.  

Peel and pray....

Give this big bushel of worries I have to Someone bigger than I am.

Pray, peel.  Pray for that special little grandson who will be eating this applesauce, and pray for his little brother or sister growing inside of mommy, a little miracle blossoming like the buds once did last spring on that flowering apple tree...

Peel...peel the McIntosh, peel the Empire.

The whole process is cathartic.

I first must go to the orchard.

It's the same as it was twenty years ago when we moved here--and years before that, too.

It's in the same spot, hasn't moved.

The lady who sells me the apples is the same pleasant lady who always sells me my apples, their homegrown popping corn, or the maple syrup, it's either her or her can you not like a humble family of apple farmers?  

Brother is out back working on the equipment or in the fall, he's got the forklift going moving huge crates of apples.

Today, it's snowy, icy, and one sister is out front shoveling off the cement in front of the old building that serves as their store.  Tree trunks are used to hold up the porch roof, rustic and beautiful, probably made from their apple trees from an older orchard somewhere back in time...the hand painted sign that says 


is still hanging where it always does, and the little bell on the old wooden entry door still pleasantly jingles as I open up to go choose my apples.

Sister follows me in and I ask her the recommendations and tell her I need a half bushel.  I take her advice and scoop them up after I pay her and, of course, we have to have our usual conversation about the weather...


I smile all the way home.

The whole mile, I smile.

There's a therapy to putting food up.  
It should be recommended instead of anti-depressants.  
It's our connection to our foremothers.

We are doing the same chores that they did, in their cabins, their soddies, their farmhouse out on the big, windy prairies, the lodge in the mountains, it was a ritual, necessary for life to be sustained.

Such a pleasant ritual.

That familiar chore, putting on that apron, going into the basement and finding the right number of jars, gathering the lids and rings, washing the fruit, reaching in for that next apple, watching the pile of peelings and cores mount up. 

I imagine that many mothers and grandmothers before me worried and fretted about what was going on in the world, too and what kind of country their kids and grandkids would inherit--and yet the food still had to be "put up".  

Life still marched on in spite of devastation by weather, wars, or worries.

I can pray --just like I imagine our foremothers did who had sons off to war--and I remember I don't have any worries such as that.  

I think about how big their problems must have seemed to them, too as I take the knife to break the skin on each apple and core it, and I can think about my chubby little grandson, who  happily knows no trouble, no worries.  

I can picture him taking the food with a little open "O" mouth like a hungry bird, taking his food from the tiny spoon mommy offers him.

Some things will never change.  Thank you, Lord!

Babies will always need their mommies and daddies...

...And they'll always need some "appa sauce".
(That's what my little ones called it!)

Grammies will always worry, pray, and sometimes even fret.

But we can be reassured for a little while, 
as we hear that familiar sound we wait to hear...


All ready to go to Levi's house.

Nana LOVES Levi!


Jamie B said...

Levi says he can't wait for more of Nana's applesauce! He only has a few more jars left, and he eats everyday with his cereal, maybe mixed with his bananas, with a little cinnamon. He LOVES it!

Debbie said...

How great that you can get good apples all year round. Some of the ones at the store lately are a little bruised and not as fresh as we like. I have 2 quarts of applesauce left. This year, I'm makin more! Your pics are nice and Levi is blessed.

Echoes From the Hill said...

My grandson won't eat any applesauce but the applesauce that we make.
It is nice to preserve food and share it with family.

Anonymous said...

That "pop" is one of my favorite sounds! It is a happy sound! Angela

A Rural Journal said...

What kind of apples are in season now? I can't imagine, since I live in the Midwest. They look delicious!

Laura said...

I've made applesauce, but never canned it. Maybe it's time I tried! :-)

Donna said...

Hi Joni. Thanks so much for stopping by. It sounds like you had a wonderful afternoon in your kitchen. Homemade is always the best! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!... Donna

Raluca said...

Such a wonderful post, Joni! I love how you write on this blog. You make me dream even more that one day we will live in country :-)
Regarding anti-depressants: I'm always shocked to find in almost every US magazine advertisments for them. It's such a pitty that so many Americans need and use them...

from my front porch... said...

Levi is so big! When did that happen?!
Loved this post, Joni! I also adore your big heart, friend......

I am having a giveaway. Come by!
xo, misha