~Apples from my trees~
I got a few apples off of my two apple trees this year. Not very many–just a few.
Enough to make a pie and a couple of apple crisps for the freezer.
I’m not a very good arborist. The deer gnawed off many of the lower branches this winter, the caterpillars had a heyday in the spring, and the birds enjoyed their fair share as the fruit ripened. I guess you couldn’t call me selfish.
Anyway, by the time I got around to picking them they were a little wormy and dimpled but still salvageable.
And one bite. . . well, there’s nothing better than an apple picked from your tree, shined up on your sleeve, and eaten–warm and fresh!
They tumbled into the sink for a good washing, but I knew, looking at them, that I couldn’t use my handy-dandy apple corer/peeler/slicer. It’s a nifty gadget that is a must-have if you’re going to be dealing with a lot of apples. But less-than-perfect apples don’t really work on it. It’s just a frustrating mess.
So I got out my paring knife and started in.
One apple at a time.
Cutting away the soft spots from the ‘good apples’ picked up from the ground.
Slicing away the worm holes.
Coring and peeling.
Just me, my paring knife, a sink full of bobbing apples, the open window, and sounds outside.
Sometimes half the apple went in the bowl.
It took time, but that was o.k.
It surprised me how calming this was–
to just stand at the sink and press the knife to the peel
trying not to take too much apple with the skin.
You can’t hurry the peeling of apples.
It’s a satisfactory thing–
to slush your hand around in the bowl
covering the apples with lemon water to keep them from browning.
To carefully slice and hear them–
Beside my sink just under the cupboard I have a small picture.
It really isn’t lovely at all, and I paid all of $8 for it.
I actually picked it up because I liked the frame. But the very
simple verse–typed and fading
actually caused me to keep it.
It reads as follows~
PRAYER FOR THE KITCHEN WALL
May labor make me glad!
May I have eyes to see
Beauty in this plain room
Where I am called to be;
The scent of clean blue smoke,
The old pans polished bright,
The kettle’s chucking joke,
The red flames’ lovely light.
May I have wit to take
The joy that ’round me lies.
Whether I brew or bake,
May labor make me wise!
May labor make me sweet!
When twilight folds the earth
May I have grace to smile
And count the day’s good work
An old song in my soul
And quiet in my breast,
To welcome tranquilly
The night’s old gift of rest,
And gather strength to face
Tomorrow’s busy strife.
Here in this humble place,
May labor bless my life!
~Nancy Byrd Turne
~May labor bless your life.~