The Simple Things

The other day, I had a mini-epiphany. A mini-epiphany is something akin to an epiphany, but it’s not quite original enough or earth shattering enough to be considered quite the whole thing. Kind of like when you forget to register Microsoft Word, and you’re left with the reduced function version… anyway-

It was a day or two after Christmas break started, and I was enjoying being disentangled  from school. My first semester of college has been good, but I tend to be the type of person who enjoys discovering what her day brings, rather than planning every detail, then carrying it out.

So on this day, already on my mind, was the absurd satisfaction I find in having a large pile of tarped wood sit outside our house. It looks like we’re trying to hide an elephant out by our wood burner, but every time I see it, I feel a connection with every other family, past or present, that relies on an ample supply of wood to get them through the winter. My Laura Ingalls Wilder (that I don’t have to dig very far to find) surfaced with a vengeance. I almost ran upstairs and threw on my hoop skirt- yes, I do own one. However, I opted to grab some apples instead.

We have a large box of Granny Smith apples sitting out in our laundry room, and since they are probably one of my favorite baking “mediums” I started peeling…

 

I had forgotten how much I love to bake. It felt so useful. It was only apple pie and cran-apple crisp, but I felt like I had accomplished more in those two dishes than I had in my entire first semester.  I honestly believe that it is the simple things that last. The rosy red cranberries clinking into the metal bowl will be the same today, tomorrow, even fifteen years from now. It is so nice to do something you enjoy, and have it benefit others… life doesn’t always work like that, but when it does, I hide it in my heart.

In our world, we don’t appreciate the simple things. They might look silly in the eyes of the “worldly wise” or the “driven achievers” but they are the things that make life beautiful. What are some simple things in your life this season?

Keep those heads in the clouds~

-HH-

 

Pie Crust and a Perfectly Lovely Legacy

*Apple* *Cherry* *Blueberry* *Lemon Meringue* *Pecan* *Pumpkin* *German Chocolate* *Strawberry* *Peanut Butter* *Butterfly* *Key Lime* *Raspberry*

I could keep on going… pie. I love pie. Pie is an integral part of my being. My great grandma made pies, my grandma made pies, my mama made pies, I make pies.

Don’t get me wrong, cakes, cookies, and cobblers have their place, but pie; pie is home. Not the “pie” you can buy at any Walmart or Meijer, or the sad attempts created from metal cans and plastic bags… but TRUE homemade pie.

One of my fondest memories of my younger days was going to Grandma’s house, walking down to the cherry orchard, and picking cherries for pies. We would then carry our full buckets to the house and proceed to pit the cherries into a bowl.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter all conjure up images of numerous pies laid out on tables, all their fillings just bubbled out from the crust enough to beckon a taste. Like so many jewels, red, yellow, blue… but better than jewels because, we all know that you can not eat jewels.

Ironically though, in all the days of learning to make pies from my grandma and mama, never was the filling the most important part. There were tips here and there… slice the apples thinner, pile the cherries higher, etc. etc. and so forth. But always the step of pie making that required the most attention and dedication was the crust!

Regardless of whether the pie was lemon meringue, cherry, strawberry, pumpkin, or apple; the same crust always applied. It can’t be handled too little or too much. It can’t be too moist or too dry. It can’t be too thick or too thin. It has to be just right.

As a child I never really cared for the crust. I imagine most children do not. It always boggled my mind when an adult would call it “the best part” of the pie. I imagine that is why I consider my own transformation of mind on the matter, a right of passage of sorts. The crust is an absolutely necessary element of the pie.

If it is too thin the filling falls. If it is too thick it over powers. If it is too tough… you have failed 🙂

Anyone who has ever made pies from scratch (the proper way) knows that the most precarious moment is when relocating the crust from being rolled out on the counter, to the pie pan. So much can go wrong in this short amount of time. But once the crust is in the pan a collective sigh is released, and the baking can begin.

So how does this all connect to legacy? Well of course there is the legacy of pie making being passed down our generations… but I had in mind something much more substantial. Legacy is like pie. We tend to want to put the emphasis and importance on the filling… the stuff we DO. All the fluff and fun we have, the world tells us to let that be what we are. But legacy is not only that. Yes the filling is fun (and delicious) and definitely part of our lives (and pie), but something is lacking.

True legacy is the crust; the foundation we build our lives upon! The carefully and tenderly crafted structures we put in place to hold the fullness of our worlds. Without crust we would be left with only a jumbled mess of sticky goo. Delicious sticky goo, but sticky goo nonetheless.

So in conclusion dear friends, pick your filling. Pick several! But make sure you take the time to craft… not buy, not pull out of a package; but carefully craft a crust for your perfectly lovely legacy.

Keep your head in the clouds~

HH