03 September, 2008

Almonds, Pie and Mom

Last week was spent being sick and school clothes shopping. YAY...not!!

I guess I whacked out my system at Stitches, because by the Tuesday after I got home, I had swollen tonsils and no voice. By Friday my husband had the cold and over the weekend both teenagers picked it up. Yucky end of summer colds, I can do without them.

Another thing I can do without is back to school shopping. When we used to be able to put stuff on lay-a-way, I would do the shopping with the kids at the beginning of summer and pay over most of the summer, getting everything out by the time school started again. It was an easy and inexpensive way to do school shopping.

Now we no longer have this option. It is buy cheaply online, where when it comes it hardly ever fits correctly, or hit stores like Kohl's and Old Navy and the crowds. Blec. Mostly my daughter went with her boyfriend to the mall; it was her money she was spending, so I got out of going there. But she also needed girl stuff and that meant mom had to go shopping, no matter how nasty I felt.

So off we headed, early Friday to Kohl's and Target. She had looked when she was out with the BF, so she knew where she wanted to go. I helped get her fit and within no time we were finished. The best part of the shopping for me, was finding a sale on Reed diffusers in Almond/ vanilla scent. MMMMM when we got home, she got her clothes washed and I set up the diffusers in the bathrooms, one at each end of the house. My daughter said they smelled like grammas’ pies. I couldn't smell anything, but was happy she was happy about the scent.

On Saturday my nose was sort of back in action and I had to agree, the scent of my mother cherry pie was what I smelled. I know smells bring you back to childhood, they can trigger good and bad responses in the brain and this one was sending warm comfort hugs straight through my nose to my heart. I missed mom all over again, but knew that she was with me and hugging me as I remembered her. I know that she taught me to cook and by teaching my daughter to cook, she has a piece of the grandmother she lost at 7 years old. I know that anytime I smell almonds I remember mom in the special way only the youngest child remembers their mom. I was the one who got to know mom as an adult, after all of my brothers and sisters had moved away. I didn't have the hurried mom of youth, but the patient mom of experience. I had a friendship with her that I don't think any other friendship I will ever have can compare. We had our fights, just like every teenager and their mother, but we also had special times that I know when she was a younger mother she was not able to do with my older siblings. I miss her dearly.

Why does almonds and vanilla remind me of my mothers cherry pie? Because when mom made the pies, she always put almond extract in the glaze. It was the same with her sugar cookies, add a bit of almond extract and they taste a bit better.
I do not have an oven right now, so I am happy to have the diffusers instead. But, I will share mom's Cherry Pie Recipe with you. I have no idea where she got the recipe, as it is written in a “favorite’s cookbook” I received after she was called home.

Lattice-top Sweet Cherry Pie

5 cups pitted halved sweet cherries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/8 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2 Tbs. tapioca
Dash of salt
1 Tbs. Butter
Pastry for double crust 9 inch pie (I love mom’s pie crust, but now I cheat with store bought ready made crusts)
Combine cherries, lemon juice, almond extract, granulated and brown sugars, salt and tapioca. Mix together and let stand while preparing pastry. Roll out pastry for bottom crust and fit to 9 inch pie plate. Roll out top crust and cut 10 strips. Fill pastry shell with cherry mixture and dot with butter. Arrange strips of dough over cherries to form a lattice top. Seal edges and brush with a bit of water. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes and reduce to 350 for 30 minutes, place foil ring to keep edges from burning if needed.

Mom always served this with Vanilla ice cream and we always had it at the end of summer picnic.
I hope your family will enjoy it also.


Turtle said...

ok, that sounds sooo good!

Coggie said...

Thanks I hope you enjoy.