Thursday, September 17, 2009

Apple Pies

Growing up, baking apple pies was a tradition. My grandma has 2 (I think?) apple trees and especially in the last 5 or 6 years, my mom has received ALL, yes, ALL of the apples from those trees. So we would massively bake about 10 pies at a time and freeze a lot of them for later in the year. At the time I'm not sure I thought it was that fun, but now, I like it a lot and it's something I enjoy doing.

Raleigh and I went to Oak Glen this last weekend (a place down here that has apple orchards) to do the U-pick to get some good apples. Don't get me started on this, but would you believe that in Southern California, it is MORE EXPENSIVE to get U-Pick apples than it is to buy them from their market a half a mile down the road?!!? I did not even think to ask! But after Raleigh and I had paid our $20 to get 10lbs (yes, I know, at the time I was thinking, what?! that's really expensive), we later went into the store and found bagged apples for half that price. Uhhgg...sorry to sound like I'm complaining but it doesn't help my great dislike for this area.

Ok anyway moving on...the other night I set out to make an apple pie but made two. :) Here are some pictures of my process! I love it. And if I do say so myself, the pie was pretty darn good! I actually had a piece for dinner last night..haha. Raleigh and I have eaten one of the whole pies in just 3 short days!

Step 1: Pick the apples (oh except if you live in California)
Oh, step 2: go home and make a really mean burger for dinner! Notice the cheese coming out of the middle of the burger...mmm
Step 3: Make the crust
Step 4: Make the filling! This involves a lot of apple-cutting...which can be oh so tiring...
Step 5: Dutch apple pie crumble crust on top!
Step 6: Eat :) Yummy.
Happy Fall everyone, although it's still 106 here, but technically next week it's "fall".

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Yesterday when I got home from work, I plopped down on the couch, turned on the news, and picked up my REAL SIMPLE magazine that just came in the mail. I was determined that this month, I'm going to read it from cover to cover. The first article was where people write in, and the topic was, "What is Home to you?". I sat there and teared up at most of them, laughed at the others, and all around really enjoyed it. It has inspired me to write my own "Home Is..."

The last two years have been rough as far as finding "home" in Southern California. We haven't felt at home here, and it's been hard to be far from family, and the Northwest (which are the two things I consider to be home). Here's my HOME tribute:

Home is my husband's kiss. It's his hand holding mine. Home is my mom's voice. My dad's walk. My sister's curly hair. It's my brother's strong hug. My mother-in-law's generous hospitality. My father-in-law's laugh. It's my brother-in-law's scientific answer for anything that could possibly happen to you in life, and my sister-in-law's kind and compassionate questions that make me feel cared about. Home is my Grandma Jean's hug. It's my grandma's sweet "hello".

Home is rain. It's fall leaves on the ground and a cup of apple cider in my hand. It's green hills and green trees. It's daffodils, and blossoming cherry trees. It's the soft carpet in my family's living room. The smell of fresh air in my grandma's woods. The sound of my husband and his brother laughing. Home is the tastes that you taste throughout the year that immediately take you back to Christmas. It's picking beans in the garden, and baking pies with my mom. It's eating my mother-in-law's berry cobbler and talking as we do the dishes afterward. It's classical music, and watching my father-in-law at the grill. Having a heart-to-heart with my sister. Home is seeing my husband walk through the door.

Home is all of these things, and so much more, that could never be replaced, and will always have a deep place in my soul.

I miss you, home.