There was something magical about late Saturday afternoon.
The day began with a rumble and then a downpour... the kind of storm my Dad likes to grin and call an east Texas barn floater. My 14-year old sister had stayed the night to help with the yard sale the next morning, and since the house is a little... intimidating... she slept with me. I remember her mumbling and rolling over as lightning crackled and flashed through the large bedroom windows. "Looks like you're off yard sale duty," I told her. We pulled the quilt up to our noses and went back to sleep.
But by late afternoon the storm had drifted away, leaving puddles and bright streams of light in its absence. I wandered outside, trying to formulate a 'Plan B' for the day, and noticed there were 7 perfect climbing roses blowing in the breeze off the front porch. I guess the storm brought them. Huh. I stood for awhile taking them in and then went inside, settling on making and canning apple pie filling. Random, I know.
But the instant that homemade caramel started bubbling in the pot, I knew it was exactly how I wanted to spend Saturday afternoon. As sunlight streamed through the kitchen windows, I sliced apples and grated nutmeg and stirred and played with the amber-colored filling.
When the jars went into the water-bath canner, all you could hear in Freeman House was a gentle rattle and boiling. And from the open windows, the chirping birds and water dripping off the roof...
As the sun set, I lined up my freshly-canned filling and thought of how easy it will be to hammer out a homemade apple pie on short notice. (Plus, since the filling is premade and preshrunk, it means you can make the perfect lattice pie crust and it not buckle or crack when you cut into the pie. Plus-er, you don't have to heat up the kitchen making filling come Fourth of July.) As the jars cooled, I made an apron for the Etsy site. Gosh, aprons and apple pie...
... what a magical afternoon!
(If you want to try the apple pie filling, leave me a comment with your email address, and I'll get the recipe over to you. And of course, I won't publish any comments with your personal information.)