Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Fried Apple Pies-A Labor of Love
Last Sunday was my family's reunion, and for some reason, I wanted to try my hand at Fried Apple Pies.I can remember,helping my Grandmother make them when I was very young.I do have one bad memory of that time though,and that was when I broke her big glass bowl that she kept in the flour bin to make her biscuits.I dropped the rolling pin into the flour bin,right in the middle of the huge glass bowl. I have never forgiven myself for that. There was no way to replace that bowl. Most likely, it would be a collector's items today, and if Grandma was like me, I am sure she cherished that bowl dearly.But what could she say? She was a very soft hearted lady, and I'm sure I inherited a lot of that characteristic from her as well. There would be no way she would have let on,even if her feelings were crushed over the incident.I told my Mom later about breaking Grandma's big glass biscuit bowl, and the next time we went to town for groceries, we made a stop at the local Dollar Store, and bought Grandma the biggest plastic bowl in the store. There was no way for us to replace the nice bowl I had broken, but at least Grandma would have a big bowl in which to make her biscuits once more.
My memory is not that good, but I do remember using a saucer to lay on the pie dough, and cutting a circle around the saucer. That must have been my job, because no doubt Grandma would not let me near the frying skillet with the hot grease. You know how Grandmother's are when it comes to keeping grandchildren away from potential harm.
I have tried a few times in the last 45 years to tackle the task of making fried apple pies, but I have always been certain that fried apple pies are definitely "a labor of love".It is indeed an art, and a dying art as well. There are very few people who make fried apple pies anymore,the way Grandma did. Pop tells me often how his Grandma made the best he has ever eaten, and of course, every wife wants to measure up to that, or get a close second place.In this case,Pop remembers his Grandma Ray making hers with dried apples.The ones that he had helped her peel and core and slice, and then dried them on a bed sheet in the sun, and turned them once in awhile so they would dry evenly all over. He loves to tell that story, and I do believe at times, it is just that. A story. From my 33 years of living with him, I'll bet he did a lot of watching and talking, while Grandma Ray did the work.He and I did,one summer that I can remember,dry a batch of apples for old times sake, but when and if,I do make more fried apple pies, I won't be using dried apples.The we in all of his stories usually pertains to something I have tackled alone, and with so much that requires my attention on this small property, I don't think drying more apple will be part of it .I'm lucky if I get around to making applesauce,apple jelly,apple butter, and freezing a few bags for fried apples.Especially with the other chores required when you own a piece of property,even if it is a small piece of property.I have a feeling he would be a lot like my Dad when it comes to the dried apples anyway. Dad always wanted Mom to dry apples,like he and his Mother use to, and when she did, he would give them all away as samples, telling folks the story of how he and his Mother use to dry apples.If that's the case, Pop will have to tell the story without the dried apples to pass around.Times are hard, but not quite that hard,yet.