One of the wondrous things about this season is the bountiful harvest and all the good things you can make to eat. In case you didn’t know, eating is about my most favourite thing- right next to lying. My wife, the Pearl of the Orient, has been trying to discourage this habit, the eating that is- she’s reluctantly accepted the lying. But things came to a head when I showed up with the latest haul, 30 plus gallons of crab apples.
“Just what do you expect me to do with all those apples? I’m not making pie. Your cholesterol is still way too high and I can’t let out the waistband on your pants any further,” the Pearl snorted with a level of disgust generally reserved for door-to-door peddlers.
“You aren’t bringing them into MY house. It’ll be totally infested with fruit flies before you have to haul them out to the garbage,” she emphasized totally ignoring my protest that it was MY house as well.
“But they were free! And they’ll make great applesauce. You know how healthy that is supposed to be,” I informed her as I began to drool over the prospect of brown toast with lots of butter slathered with applesauce.
“Well have at it. You can make it out here on the deck. Stay out of MY kitchen and put all MY utensils back when you’re finished,” was the final response I got as the door closed in my face.
Undaunted, I set to washing- sort of, quartering and potting the apples. I had every pot full before I had finished the first bucket. Only six more buckets to go. Then I loaded up the cook top as well as the barbecue and set the containers to cook. It was exhausting work, so I took a little break on the sofa while things came to a boil.
I guess I had the lid on that one pot on a little tight, but when it blew, ricocheting off the cupboard, the attendant ‘Boom, Clatter, Clatter!’ brought me fully awake. Fortunately, at the time, the Pearl was off to an extended swim and exercise class, so there were no personal injury or marital abuse issues to deal with. A mop and a bucket quickly cleaned up the mess and the stain on the ceiling is hardly noticeable.
With the apples all nicely boiled, I did a bit of mashing, and it was onto the straining. A couple of windows screens pressed into service speeded up that operation. Besides we don’t open those windows very often and the bug season is pretty much over.
When the Pearl arrived home, I proudly had my production displayed on the counter. The Pearl was impressed and not too put out by the slap dash job I had done of cleaning up. I cleared out to let her bring that area up to her standards. After all, what’s that about discretion being the better part of valour.
Since we were off to Emily and Norm’s for brunch the next day, I insisted on taking a quart of the ambrosia along as a token gift. Emily is a very gracious hostess.
“Isn’t this wonderful. I just love fresh applesauce,” she gushed as she spooned up a servings all round.
“You know you just can’t beat it mixed up with yogurt like this,” she added as we all dipped in with gusto.
“I wanted Norm to make some from our apples, but he said they were too wormy. How did you manage to find crab apples without worms?” Emily continued with unabated enthusiasm.
“Who said my apples didn’t have worms?” I replied.
“Well how did you get them out? It must have involved a lot of cutting,” wondered Emily.
“Who said I got them out?” I replied.
Emily’s spoon stopped someplace between her bowl and her sweet mouth.
Emily’s spoon returned to her bowl.
And it’s amazing how that woman can suppress a gag reflex.
But that’s what being a perfect hostess is all about.
Norm just kept eating.