family, life

Decoding Stories

Itsc house 1 517x800 wmMy husband has asked me to write about a subject near and dear to his heart … to both of our hearts.

Since we moved back to the area where we were born and raised, Gary has been all about bonding with family. He’s always enjoyed being with loved ones, but he’s been more assertive lately about making plans with them. Perhaps the death of his father coaxed this strong pull.

We didn’t live near any family for most of our lives together. Now that we’re near mine, he lights up when we get together.

One of the things he made a priority was spending time in the kitchen with each of our mom’s. So, back in April, he set a plan to fly to Florida and spend a day with his mom, J, baking his favorite dessert from childhood . . . apple slices.

When Gary told J his wish to recreate those mouth-watering cinnamon-apple goodies with her, she was hesitant. It had been a very long time, but he talked her into the idea. The apple slices called for making the dough the day before, so J dug out the old recipe and got the job done night before he arrived. Then, the real fun began. I’ll turn it over to Gary to tell the story.

Gary: Mom pulled out old kitchen tools that haven’t seen the daylight in years.

apples1wmApple peeler.

I asked her about them, and that’s when the stories came out.

apples2wm
The glass rolling pin was her mom’s. The handle unscrewed so that ice could be inserted inside, which was to help keep the dough from sticking.applesrecipe2 (651x800)xxwm

When Mom showed me the recipe, I realized I needed to pull out my degree in reading hieroglyphics to decode the handwriting. I’m the only one in the family (out of four sons, ten grandkids, eight great-grandkids), who can translate her handwriting. She explained to me that back when she made the slices for us as kids, she wanted to make her mom’s recipe, but lost it. So, she asked her neighbor for her recipe. Mrs. L. dictated it to Mom, and thus, the handwriting dilemma.

apples4wmAs we continued, she shared more. She told me a story about an incident that happened when she was in high school. She took her boyfriend along to visit her aunt and brought a batch of the baked apple slices. It was quite a drive, so after they stopped for gas and stretched their legs, Mom got back in the car and plopped her butt right down on top the apple slices. Now, she laughed about it these near 70 years later.

I never met my mother’s parents, and as we worked on our own version of the apple slices, I learned that my grandmother was a professional seamstress in the 1940’s. I also never knew that my grandmother made pasta from scratch, and none of us are Italian. I must’ve had that pasta gene in me, because I married into an Italian family who makes pasta from scratch. That story is to come next week.

Lori: While decoding a recipe, Gary’s mom decoded some family memories for all of us to cherish. Cooking together is a wonderful way to bond.

Both of us would love for you to read about Gary’s experience making pasta from scratch with my mom. He has a beautiful message to share at the end. We both thank you for reading about our family.

P.S. If you’d like the apple slices recipe, please say so in the comments and I’ll post them on Friday. But, you should know that the recipe was not complete so they winged some of it.

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15 thoughts on “Decoding Stories”

  1. I like that all the stories and sharing came out around this apple slicing bonding. Just spending time together appreciating the little things–like making a recipe together. My mom and I did that all last week. So precious, and so fleeting.

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  2. Hi Lori, that looks absolutely scrumptious. I have a cookbook of my mother’s that was printed in the 1950s, with picture of ladies in dresses and aprons happily cooking away. I cook every night for my boys, and they always tell me they are so lucky to have a Mum that still cooks for the, because most of their friends mothers just let their kids fend for themselves. I still have my Krups hand-held blender that I bought back in 1985 – still works great – I use it all the time. They don’t make things that last like that nowadays! Hope you are well, and I am sure you are enjoying the Spring weather!!!!

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    1. That cookbook from the 50’s sounds like a real treasure. I think women/mom’s don’t cook dinner as much because there is so much more women do these days. Not that I would expect them to be Stepford wives, but it’s all so overwhelming. I don’t know how women with children keep up.

      Thanks for reading my story, SD.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading about it, Penny. He enjoyed hearing the stories, and then I enjoyed hearing them as well.

      I thought I’d come over and visit you, but your blog said it was deleted.

      Like

  3. I agree, Lori, cooking or baking with our elders is a great way to bond and share memories from our past. My mother had all of her recipes written on cards like the one you pictured. Sadly, I’m sure that method has gone by the wayside for many, with all of the internet recipes we can simply print.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jill. I have my grandma’s recipe box. I put a photo of it on my blog once. I printed out my own recipes and put them into a binder. Isn’t it nice to have those hand-me-down recipe cards?
      Thanks for reading bout it.

      Liked by 1 person

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