Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was a good day, good weekend, with the kids home for their Fall Break and leaf raking (11 huge bags) and pie making and naps and a big ol’ dinner or two. Jambalaya, and fajitas, and enough sugar cookies cut out like pumpkins and frosted with orange for everyone, including visitors. There was rain on Saturday, and when it came down so suddenly all the trick-or-treaters screamed and scattered, there was chaos for a while but the rain stopped and the sun came out Sunday and the hours til the kids’ departure grew short. The extra hour with Daylight Saving Time became a Blessing.
Our son used that extra hour to study. “Abnormal,” he said when I asked. I thought he was talking about my raking outfit. (I tend to wear shredded and odd clothes when doing yard work, and I’m not apologizing.) “Psychology,” he added. Got it. Mr. S got out the leaf blower and seemed to enjoy, thoroughly, blowing leaves from the edges of the house into little cyclones over the grass. He looked as if he were waltzing with those leaves, or locked into one of those machines that blow money about and you try to catch all you can. He looked happy, and when he finished, he got out the broom and swept the garage, and the driveway, and then he reclined in his recliner with the paper and dozed awhile. I raked. And raked and bagged and bagged and raked. Our married daughter called in the midst of it all and we spent most of an hour talking, and our youngest went out for a walk, and I watched from the window as she disappeared down the road.
I’ve had what you might call a theory about how a person walks. It seems every person leads with a certain part of his/her body, and this, to me, says everything. Some, like my neighbor Mr. Johnson, lead with their head, often tipped a bit forward. A man of thought. Some walk with their shoulders hunched, suggesting perhaps a lack of confidence or fortitude. Or general weariness. Others move with their pelvis leading the way, and, well, that’s something, I suppose. Some with their chests, shoulders back. A kind of confidence. And some, like our daughter, lead with their hearts — body erect, all forward, surety and eagerness, a thread running through. I aspire to this.
And I aspire to taking more walks. It is what I will do with my extra hour this week, even though I used it up raking. That’s a way to look at it, you know. We got an extra hour, and it’s there for you, any time. You can bake, rake, nap, read, gaze out the window, change the oil in your car, make love, go pheasant hunting, eat more (winter is near) or pray. Or you can take a walk. And if you do, pull on that thread of yours and walk with all of you. Forward, onward, into this day, into autumn, and into, when it comes, the falling snow.
Here’s my grandma’s old recipe made new with a few small changes. This recipe may take a bit of time, but it’s worth every minute. And won’t last many minutes once it’s baked and glazed. Good for dessert, a snack, or breakfast. Or all of the above.
Grandma’s Apple Slices
3 cups flour
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
2 T butter
2 eggs, separated
7-8 cups sliced apples
1 cup sugar
2-3 tsp cinnamon
Dashes of nutmeg
Blend with pastry cutter the flour, sugar, salt, shortening and butter.
Place 2 egg yolks in small bowl and stir. Set whites aside.
Add milk to yolks to make 2/3 cup and blend into crust ingredients.
Roll out ½ dough to fit the bottom of a larger rectangular cookie sheet or 2 9×13 cake pans.
Crumble at least ½ cup corn flakes on the crust. Set aside.
Peel and slice apples, 7-8 cups’ worth. Mix with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Pour onto prepared crust and spread out evenly.
Roll out remaining dough and place over top of apples. Seal edges.
Beat egg whites until fluffy, and spread over top crust.
Bake at 400 until lightly brown. Glaze with your favorite powdered sugar frosting, or serve plain with ice cream.