Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A is for Apple

Today I went to my mother's first grade classroom and volunteered.  Paul went too.  We worked with my mother's students on their math - counting by 5's and by 10's, naming shapes, naming the days of the week, naming the months of the year, etc..  Turns out I would fail first grade because the kids had to be able to identify a rhombus, trapezoid, parallelogram, and hexagon in addition to the easy circle, triangle, and square.  I had no idea what the first two (rhombus and trapezoid) were and was admittedly a little foggy on the parallelogram although I could have figured that one out if my mother hadn't pointed to it first.  Both my mother and Paul were laughing at me over it when I expressed my confusion.  This is a rhombus (why they can't just call it a diamond, I don't know):

Anyway, Paul and I each took a student out to tables in the hallway to test them on the various topics.  After about 20 minutes of testing and rotating through students, I overheard Paul with a new student, a little girl, down the hallway.  The little girl was singing through the days of the week for him and he was struggling not to laugh.  I could tell because he was making a silent wheezing noise that is his old man laugh.  I don't think the little girl noticed because she was so focused on her song.  It was awesome and we had a great time with those kids. 

Also, today I climbed a tree - two actually.  Leaves.  Branches.  And me.  Not that I was up high or anything - they were just a couple of apple trees, but still.  When was the last time you climbed a tree?  It has been years for me.  Maybe since I fell out of one at my grandma's house in Texas when I was a kid.  Or since I ran off with my friend Jenny Wood in second grade to hide in a tree after eating half a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough while my mother was out of the room.  I'm not a very competent tree-climber and I'm certainly not as agile as I used to be.  Or maybe its just that proportionally trees are smaller now than they used to be and that makes getting good footholds and balancing on thin branches more difficult.  But gosh it felt really good to climb those trees.  Freeing and fresh.

We went down to Orem to help Paul's brother with some painting on the house he is remodeling, and I saw that his apple trees were pretty loaded down.  So I offered to pick the apples and use them since Paul's brother and sister-in-law still haven't put in their kitchen and the apples were just going to go to waste.  There is something so sad about letting all those beautiful apples rot on the tree and I just couldn't stand the thought.  Dave said "sure", so Paul brought out a ladder for me to climb up to pick the apples, but that just wasn't working - I couldn't get high enough, and a lot of the lower apples had been pecked at by birds, so I ended up balancing on the thin upper tree limbs to harvest the fruit.  Is it still a harvest when you didn't do any of the planting and nurturing? 

I ended up with two very full bags of sweet apples - maybe 15-20 pounds I'm guessing.  They made our car smell so good for the drive home and they are already making my parent's kitchen all apple-scented delicious, and they haven't even been cooked. 

Now I'm not sure what to do with them.  I have a slightly crazy inclination to try bottling apple pie filling and giving it away as Christmas gifts, but I'm super intimidated by that notion.  I've never tried anything like that and I'm not sure I really care enough.  But then, I can't often resist a challenge, can I?


  1. Apple pie filling is a great idea! You could also make apple butter. If I were you, I would make and can apple butter and just keep it so I could enjoy it all year long. The stuff is amazing. I actually made "apple butter crisp" using that instead of apples. It was great.

    And now I really want to climb a tree.

  2. My in-laws have an apple tree and I LOVE it when she makes homemade apple things. My favorite is apple crisp, of course. Do you like apple sauce? That's always yummy, and great for food storage.

  3. I think you should make an apple tort in the shape of a rhombus.

  4. In the fall, we make a ton of chunky apple sauce! :) And my mom has a fantastic apple crumb thingy that is divine!

  5. Ooh, Nikki I need the apple crumble recipe!


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