Growing up, apple pies were on the menu for any special occasion, no matter what. The smell of the baking apple pie took over the house, and I was in heaven. Even to this day, I look forward to my mom’s apple pie.
But the best part of the whole apple pie process wasn’t the smelling of it or even the eating of it, it was the peeling of the actual apples. Weird, right? Well…let me explain.
My mom would peel the granny smiths in such a way that the peel never broke! Or, at least, that was the goal. The challenge was to peel the entire apple without the peel breaking, round and round and round you go. I had never noticed it until I started coming home from college and would help my mom prepare special holiday meals.
I asked her why she was doing that. It seemed like more work than necessary.
She got this look in her eye and said, “My mom did it that way.”
A family tradition, right before my eyes. So, I grabbed a small knife and, after asking if I could help, started peeling away.
It took some practice, but now, every time I’m peeling an apple, for an apple pie or otherwise, I picture my Nanna and my mother peeling along with me.
Last night, I was peeling apples for a sauerkraut and apple side dish that was being served with grilled pork chops. My daughter grabbed her stool and pulled it up to the counter next to me. She asked me why I was peeling the apples ‘like that’, and I then told her the story of how her Nanna (that’s what she now calls my mom) and her Great Grandmother did it that way.
Being three years old, I was not about to hand her a knife and have her give it a try. But when she went to her own ‘kids’ kitchen and pretended to peel her pretend apple, it made me smile.
Food and traditions, apple peel-style. Gotta love it.