I’m going to make an apple pie. First thought of the day. That kind of day — warm bed, puffs of chilly air coming in the open window. The room doesn’t whisper, doesn’t hint; it proclaims boldly “Fall!” “Apple pie!” And not just any ole apple pie. A crumble-crust apple pie. The traditional apple pie’s little rebel of a cousin. The one with a mischievous grin and tousled hair. A cute, chirpy, bouncy thing; a little wild girl of a pie. A dear friend’s recipe, she already an old lady 20 years ago, and gone now for two. She had spunk just like her sweet, sassy, crumbly apple pie. A peach of a woman in so many ways. An example: At a time in my life when I had a half-dozen batch of little children clinging to my skirts and no time to even turn around, that saint of a lady would not only call me on the telephone if she saw one of those youngsters, unbeknownst to me, too high in a particular climbing tree, but she would also among other things pick, peel and slice apples from her own tree — for me — to make any apple concoctions I fancied. Delivered with a big hug, and a (very clean) joke, and perhaps a new recipe, she’d walk slowly and carefully down my front steps and across the street to her own place, off on more helping-others missions.

Did I mention she was a peach? Me left standing amid the chaos that is a young mom’s life holding an enormous bag of sliced apples, and thus my work toward the perfect pie almost done because we all know the picking, peeling and slicing is the hardest part. My favorite was and still is her very own crumble-crust pie recipe which I will never divulge to others unless they are young mothers who have hit the point where they cannot tell which way is up. I think of it as a secret weapon. Because it’s not only wonderful, shhhh…it’s easy.

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