Yesterday this bowl of Haralson apples became the first apple pie of the season at Casa Renfield. Sampling a crisp slice of this ultra tart apple, followed by the homey smells of butter and cinnamon curling through my kitchen and the happy shouts of my kids, “You made pie!” tugs on a dense skein of memories.
My mother loved Haralson apples, so they always remind me of her. Even when my parents retired to Florida, I would send them a bag from Minnesota every year.
While my mother normally wasn’t much for desserts, she nevertheless made apple pie several times each fall, and I loved walking into our house after school and smelling that. She always served apple pie flanked by a chunk of extra sharp cheddar cheese. Mmm, so good! And she never minded if you went back and “cleaned up the edges” of the pie pan.
I feel a twinge of sadness that she’s no longer alive to share those memories with me. Yet when my seventeen year old son unexpectedly offered to take the leftover pie back to the kitchen after dinner last night, I hid my smile and said, “Sure, go ahead.” Because I realize I’m caring for my family the way my mother cared for me. Thus do memories, old and new, become hopelessly tangled together.