By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
October is now upon us and the air has turned crisp. I now don my corduroy coat, layering it underneath with a sweater and a blouse. Yesterday I even deigned to wear socks, not with my usual black flats, but with my heavier, yet stylish black strap shoes. I complain not about this change of seasons. All those years I lived in Houston, I relished the sunshine with the big, blue Texas sky as its backdrop. Yet I longed for the panorama of a Midwest autumn. Besides my family, I greatly missed autumn. The vibrant yellows, orange, and reds of the trees never failed to make me smile. They still do.
Another magnificent feature of autumn in my Midwest is apple season. This conjures up images of apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, apple butter, apples baked, apple apple galette, apple kugel, apple salad, apple tart, and even a raw apple itself. Apple orchards abound in nearby Southwestern Michigan. Harvesting apples in apple orchards always reminds me of picking apples with my grandfather in his very own orchard. We lived on the other side of his orchard, which made it easy to race from our backdoor out into the orchard to help him with the apples. My mother made the best apple pie, though I am sure that quite a few people make the same claim about their own mother’s apple pies. However, I have not tasted other mothers’ apple pies, so I can attest only to my own mother’s pie. We have a penchant for apple pie in my family. Throughout the years I have been told that my grandmother was an apple pie genius; sadly, my grandmother suffered a stroke that left her with little speech, but a with beatific smile and her sweet disposition in tact. Alas, her pie-making days were thus over before I had a memory of them. Here is a tasty apple pie recipe from Martha Stewart’s online website:
I must admit that I used to make apple pie; however, I detest peeling apples. Although I have made apple pie with the apple skin intact, I prefer a more classic version of said pie. My sister-in-law makes a lovely apple pie with a crumbly brown sugar and walnut crust, which is on the dessert table at Thanksgiving. Ever since Whole Foods opened here over almost three years ago, I find myself purchasing the occasional apple pie from WF. An excellent apple pie is also to be had at enterprising Amish establishments in nearby towns. There is no shortage of apples every which way in this part of the Midwest. Chastise me if one will, but I cook and bake throughout the week – in fact, yesterday morning I baked two loaves of pumpkin bread, one of which I took to my daughter. Thus is my justification for rarely making an apple pie, though I love making cream pies with mile high merengue! All this talk about apples has now put me in mind of toast with apple butter. Yummy!
Ciao for now.