I love traditions. Seriously. If left to my own insanity, I would have a tradition for everything I do. This runs along quite well with my insane hate for change, so instead of insisting of my love of the regular… I label it Traditions!
And once Fall hits, It’s time for my cute aprons to come out and our baking to begin. Starting in September, September 1st to be exact. We welcome Fall into our Little Red house. It’s still hot in the south, but we celebrate a bit early to anticipate what’s to come.
What once started out as a simple apple pie to welcome in the season has now turned into an apple festival that spiraled out of control! With 7 kids and various family and friends who anticipate the start of baking day as much as we do….Pies, crisps and home made applesauce now adorn our days.
For me food means bringing people together… and that’s what I love the most. The gathering of my kids around the table, excited about the days events. As my children grow, my traditions have been taken over by them. I have graduated to the “overseer” as my teenagers happily start handing out jobs to the littler ones. Their friends come over to help with the baking.
There is something about a full house that warms my heart… and usually, in the center of that is food! It brings people closer, puts them at ease and warms the soul.
In our Little Red House the smell of Fall closely resembles Apples. Our huge crock pot is simmering with freshly peeled apples….Sprinkled with various amounts of sugar and cinnamon… And a bag of apples are always bought for my Aunt Diana who lives right down the street. My children love to pick the juiciest ones for her to make into the best apple butter this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.
This year, we learned the secret of “seconds.” Seconds are the apples that fall to the ground before they get the chance to be picked. They are gathered and placed in a huge farm freezer and are sold for mere pennies. So after my kids picked some fruit from the trees, we purchased a huge box of seconds for about $5. After making 4 apple pies, 2 apple crisps, 8.5 qts of apple sauce, 4 cans of apple butter, freezing 15 apples for later use AND eating apples with breakfast, lunch and dinner, we still had about 1/2 a bushel left over….
Our Apple Pie tradition has been celebrated for over a decade. It has been picked up by other families and inspired people to celebrate the little things.
My prayer is that when my kids grow up and go off on their own, that somehow, they will all make their way back to my Little Red House for a plateful of apple pie. That they will come back with their husbands and wives, their kids and their friends…
And that one day, when I am long gone, they will carry this tradition on in their own home. That on September 1st neighbors will smell the sweet aroma of cooking apples and know that in their house… Love abides.