Happy to be There, Happy to Leave
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Mr. Sundberg and I went out to the orchard that morning and loaded up on baking apples — Wealthy and Cortland mostly, and a small bag of Honeycrisp, my favorite eating apple. We bought cider, too, and a sack of kettle corn, which we had no problem polishing off on the drive home, along with a small package of cheese curds. The weather is perfect these past few days, and I’ve let go of some time in the kitchen in favor of adventure, and car snacks are always good.
When we got home it was my intent to read awhile, catch up on world and local news and a chapter or two of the book I’m reading on being an introvert. I curled up in the window seat with the window open, and I don’t know if it was the breeze or the warm sun on my legs or the acoustic guitar music Mr. Sundberg was listening to in the kitchen, but I dozed off and found myself in a dream that looked like a Maxfield Parrish painting come to life. There were trees and a stream and a small pond with silvery fish in it, and golden light seemed to emanate from everything. It resembled the Andersens’ backyard about now, all insanely well-groomed and festooned with seasonal plants and flowers and vines and various gourds and the old wooden wagon filled with corn and the scarecrow they put together every year. But the dream was more heaven-like, and I was happy to be there, and happy to leave.
What woke me wasn’t a noise; it was a smell. Pie. Apple pie: one in the oven; one baked, on the counter. Mr. Sundberg had a hankering for pie, it seems, and he must have been on it the moment I opened my book. Pie with a lovely doughy thick crust the way I like it, a sprinkling of nutmeg over the orchard apples, and juices bubbling up through the leaves he’d fashioned with the extra dough. “For you,” he said, as he presented a hefty slice on a plate, complete with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For me. My gosh. To be handed a slice of warm pie on a Saturday afternoon, just as the show starts? After walking through an orchard and reading in the sunlight? Well, guess I don’t need a nap to visit heaven.
I’m not sure why, but every year about this time I get a one last craving for potato salad. Seems transitional. It’s good for picnics or potlucks, and you can make it by the bucket if you’re so inclined. Goes just right with sloppy joes, or grilled chicken, or pork chops in the crock pot.
Sprinkle 5 cups sliced or cubed cooked potatoes with 2 tsp each sugar and vinegar. Add ¾ to 1 cup chopped onion, 1½ cup mayonnaise, salt and celery seed to taste. Toss. Fold in 4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced. Chill. Serves 8ish.