Rolling Pin Memories

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Watching the elderly woman roll pie dough, one could almost imagine her in earlier years. A bit taller maybe, dark hair instead of white. A different kitchen window, larger, looking out onto her kitchen garden with fields of corn beyond. Towheaded children playing nearby, begging for pie dough scrapes to be baked with cinnamon and sugar especially for them.

Now though, alone in a smaller house, the woman still does what she enjoys most. Baking pies. The rolling pin brings back sweeter memories than the sugary filling going into the pie. Her husband, who passed on a long time ago, gave her the rolling pin on their first anniversary, well over 60 years ago.

He made the solid wood pin; shaped and smoothed it to fit her hands, like her hand fit into his as they took their evening walks across the farm. Just as the rolling pin produced an even pastry, their life together was pretty much on an even keel.

Oh, every once in a while they had a bad spot, like the bruises in the apples she peeled this morning. Some were larger than others. But in the end there was always enough love and forgiveness to bring on another day together. Another pie.

Farmhouse Apple Pie

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 to 7 cups sliced, peeled apples (about 2 pounds)
Favorite pastry for 2-crust pie
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Mix into apples. Toss lightly until all are coated. Heap apples into pastry-lined pie pan. Shake pan gently to settle apples. Dot with butter.

Adjust top crust over apples. Seal and flute edges. Trim any excess pastry. Using sharp knife or fork, cut in steam vents on top of pie. If desired, brush top of pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue to bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until pie is golden brown and apples are tender.