Monday, October 8, 2012

Bubbling Apples, Little Susie Homemaker, and Duct Tape

Tonight, as I sat on the couch in the living room, I started to peel and slice a big bag of apples my son, Hayden collected from his aunt's (my sister-in-law's) apple trees. I had my large green bowl that I inherited from my mother-in-law placed on our rustic coffee table ready to fill with slices of apples. Yes, I was in the living room, not in the kitchen because Jeopardy was on , and I always watch Jeopardy. And you must understand that I haven't peeled and readied this many apples in many a year. The kitchen is not my favorite room in the house.

Oh, I used to put up all manner of vegetables and fruits from the garden and farmers' markets, but it seems that in the past 15 years, I have devoted my time to my job first as the director and instructor of adult education at our local college. Putting up food was not high on my list of "things to do." Most of our children were grown, married, about to get married, in college...well, you get the picture. Being the "Little Red Hen" was not so important anymore.  I was fine with shopping at the local grocery store. But, truth be told, the store bought vegetables were not near as good.

This job, this canning and freezing of food became a job for my retired husband. Really, he's a disabled Vietnam veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but he also worked many years. I prefer to say he is retired from working outside the home. And thank goodness he really likes to plant, hoe, pull weeds, and pick the bounty from an outstanding garden every summer. I get to reap the benefits. To this day, some 42 years later, we still love to fry okra in January and pull out cream style corn when the family sits down together for a special meal. Our grown children still consider cream style corn from the garden pretty close to dessert.

The thing is, my husband and I both grew up with either a father or a mother or both who gardened. I was used to eating fresh veggies and fruits from a garden. So was my husband. This was something we needed and enjoyed from our first year of marriage. But I think I just got tired of it all. And as my husband, soon after we were married, surmised, I'm just not too domesticated.

I have never been accused of being "Little Susie Homemaker", but I did enjoy doing artsy crafty things with my children when they were young. I actually embroidered some Christmas pillows one time using my own patterns. Made a little Christmas money that year, around $100 or so dollars and was so sick of embroidering that I haven't picked it up since. I may though. I just may. I also may knit and crochet again after making 50 blue million footies and ornaments for Christmas presents one year. I think that was 25 years ago. I have also been know to duct tape a fallen hem. Duct tape lasts for about two years even after washing and drying.

No matter. The aroma of apples bubbling on the stove has filled our home with promises of deliciousness. I love applesauce from fresh apples. Plus, I can use these apples to make fried pies on a cold winter's day. Gracious, that sounds awfully domesticated. Am I beginning to revert to actually liking to cook again, or gasp...put up food? My husband does most of the cooking now, and he's darn good at it. I still do Sunday morning breakfasts sometimes. And folks tell me my from scratch biscuits are the best east of the Mississippi River. I don't know who makes them better in the West.

Who knows? I may be crowned "Little Susie Homemaker" someday. Nah. Not gonna happen. I will always think duct tape is my friend.


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

When I retired, I started cooking again and because I never feel I have to do it, I kind of enjoy it now. My husband took over that chore about 15 years ago and I only dabbled in it on holidays and special occasions. Now though, I look for recipes and want to try new things .

I am starting over again, and what was old is new again.

Lisa said...

I can't tell you how much I love the fact that you don't really care for cooking: I feel the same way!!! :)

But I do enjoy putting up fruit and veggies...and baking, which is unlike cooking because baking tastes a WHOLE lot better. ;)

Great post!!