My mother wrote this letter to my dad in 1942, a year before their marriage, while they were separated during WWII.
Our love has grown during
our separation. Our life together is my constant thought.
Your faith is so strong and sure. You are such an optimist about
the war ending soon.
You are so good to me––so
considerate, kind, thoughtful. It just seems as if I could thoroughly enjoy
cooking, washing, mending, cleaning, baking and doing all the other things a
devoted wife does for a prince of a man like you.
I love you, yours forever,
Mom's words at the end of the letter sound contrary to a woman's role in today's marriages, but she kept up her end of the bargain, and did enjoy cooking and baking; washing, mending, and cleaning, not as much.
During most of the 37 years of my own marriage, I haven't enjoyed cooking and baking. Truth be told, during the years I worked full time and my children were involved in after school commitments they consumed their share of fish sticks, hotdogs, and our family favorite––peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
In the two years since my retirement, my kitchen and I have become better friends. My favorite home-made comfort food is Mom's apple pie. If you have five apples, you can make pie. All of the other ingredients are in your pantry.
- Peel and slice five apples (any kind, mixed varieties make the best pie)
- Add 1/2 cup sugar to apples
- Add 2 tablespoons flour to apples
Stir this mixture and let rest while you make crust.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
In a small bowl combine,
- One cup plus two tablespoons flour
- 1/3 cup oil (this can be any kind––corn, canola, even olive oil)
Stir the above ingredients together with a fork until they're crumbly. Form the mixture into a ball with your hands. Lay a piece of waxed paper on your counter and flatten the crust ball on the paper. Lay another piece of waxed paper on top of the flattened crust ball. Use a rolling pin to flatten the crust ball (still squashed between the two pieces of waxed paper) to the approximate dimensions of pie pan. Peel off top piece of paper, and (here's the tricky part) turn the crust over––like you're flipping it upside down, into the pie pan with remaining bottom piece of waxed paper now on top. Now that your crust is in the pie pan, with the bottom piece of waxed paper now on the top, carefully peel off the last piece of waxed paper.
Pour your delicious, juicy filling into the pie crust. Dot with butter.
Repeat crust procedure for the top crust. Pinch edges. Sprinkle the top with a teaspoon of sugar and cut vents in the top of crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Then enjoy!! (It's best if it's eaten while still warm enough to melt a scoop of vanilla ice cream.)
When I put my pies together I always think about the "yummy" it will elicit from my recipients, while wondering just how many pies my mom made in her 66 year marriage. I don't think I can match her number. She had a head start.
Baking a pie is an act of love. Thanks Mom.