Monday, September 8, 2014

Spontaneity and Apple Pie

I am not the most spontaneous person, most who know me well would agree. Perhaps it comes with maturity, but I like having some sense of how the day, week, or even the month will unfold. I think this has to do sometimes with being a parent, especially during those early years when you learn that anything can and will happen. It is almost impossible to try and make plans or keep a routine in early days of parenting, especially when you are parenting solo! So these days I really enjoy a sense of order and consistency to certain things, despite the idea many people have that because I am creative I would be very spontaneous and always do things 'on a whim'.

In reality, I tend to be reluctant to be spontaneous. There is a sense of security in my days that wasn't always present years ago, and I value it. I do not believe routine is a 'death sentence' as some people say, especially not if you enjoy the routines and they bring you peace, like my yoga practice, my work, or even my running schedule.

However, I do believe it is good to be spontaneous, and it doesn't have to be a major thing like a weekend trip or repainting a room. Spontaneity is a subject I've written quite a bit about because it isn't always so easy for me, and I find the biggest reason is that by nature, when a fun idea comes to me, sometimes I just procrastinate acting on it because I've already envisioned what a day, weekend, or even an afternoon will entail and I am attached to that idea. So I put the spontaneous idea on the back burner for another time, even though there is no valid reason not to do it.

Today, I'm pleased to say, that did not happen! For days my son and I have been passing by a field with an apple tree growing there, seemingly wild, with many apples going unpicked and falling to the ground.

I used to take my son to my aunt and uncle's house to pick apples from their tree each fall, and we would make apple pies and apple crisps and apple sauce and all kinds of yummy things. A few years ago, however, their apple tree contacted a tree illness and had to be cut down. So it has been some time since we've enjoyed picking apples that are just growing organically in nature. I was so keen to do it again that today, we stopped at the house closest to the apple tree and knocked on the door!

The man who answered told us he did own the property but we could pick as many apples as we liked! Not wanting to take advantage of his kindness, we picked enough to make an apple pie! For all my foreign readers, what is more American than apple pie, right? :-)

Today was just a typical Monday and the ride home was also typical until I stopped at the apple tree. Suddenly there was excitement about getting home! We were making an apple pie for dessert! Now every Southern cook worth their salt always has the ingredients on hand for pie of just about any kind, so I put my assistant to work making the crust while I washed and cored the apples. I was delighted at how naturally beautiful they seemed, despite a few imperfections that were easily cut away. I will take cutting away an imperfection over icky pesticides any day!

Boys love cooking, too!!

Filled with yummy natural goodness and ready for the oven...

...and a bounty left over for the composter! Nothing is ever wasted in this kitchen!

About the time I popped the pie into the oven, a friend stopped by and stayed for a slice. We were so caught up in visiting and conversation that I forgot to take a photograph of the finished product! I did, however, manage to sneak a shot of my son's slice, all warm from the oven and topped with vanilla frozen yoghurt!

My friend and I enjoyed coffee and conversation with our slices of apple pie, and the experience added something special to what was shaping up to be a typical Monday. It was even more special that we'd picked the apples ourselves from a tree right near our home.

Most days after work the last thing I feel like doing is coming home and making a pie in addition to making dinner, homework, and other evening routines. Many times I fall into the trap of thinking things like this are for 'special occasions' but it is in being spontaneous that we transform a typical evening into a special occasion! By the time I got home I was excited and felt energized and the workday just melted away. We had a great time both making and eating the pie. And my friend was delighted to have popped by just at the right time!

While I do greatly value consistency and routine, I'm making it a point in my life not to become so attached to the safety of it that I don't allow room for spontaneity and all the lessons and joy it has to offer, including apple pie!

Happy Monday, all!

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