The Art Of Endurance

I love apples.

I’ve always loved apples. Red, green, golden, I love ‘em all!

Something about apples just reminds me of home. A country home. MY country home.

I’ve got apples all over my kitchen. Tastefully done, of course. I’m not nuts.

Apples taste great, too!  Some are sweet, some are tangy. I even like the mushy ones!

My favorite dessert is apple pie. Throw some vanilla ice cream on a slice, and mmmmmm, oh my goodness!

I’d decided to treat myself and make an apple pie from scratch, so I headed to the store, licking my lips in anticipation of the yummy goodness I was going to create.

I headed straight to the apple bins. As I was grabbing a few, I noticed that one had a bruise. I automatically pushed it to the side, but then I stopped. I pondered that apples are like people in a way: some of us have bruises, but that doesn’t mean we should be immediately discarded.  I held the apple in my hand, turning it back and forth, looking at it.  I held it up by the stem, twisting it this way and that, remarking how shiny it was!  Then I accidentally twisted it too far & the stem snapped & the apple dropped to the ground. I said fuck it & kicked it under the bin, thus bringing to a close my apple existential crisis.

I grabbed the butter & a few other things I needed & headed home.

There, I spread out all my goodies & prepared to make magic.  My kitchen was cozy and warm, and this was gonna be great!

I slowly peeled my beautiful apples, admiring their vibrant colors.  I sliced them while breathing in the tantalizing aroma of the cinnamon waiting patiently nearby.  I took too big of a sniff, sneezed, and sliced right through my finger.  As I was bandaging myself up, I realized that I’d left the top off the tub of butter.  (un)Fortunately, my feline kitchen helper, Baby Magoo, had decided to test the butter to ensure its softness.  He’d stuck his face in the tub and had butter smeared all in his whiskers.  Sigh. I chased him all through the house while yelling THIS IS NOT A GAME! I finally caught him, cleaned him up, and put him in his bed on top of the fridge to “help” from a distance.

I turned my attention back to the masterpiece that was slowly unfolding. I grabbed the brown sugar BRICK and started pounding it on the counter to loosen it.  As my mind wandered, and I took in the cozy comfort of my kitchen, I smashed the concrete confectionery on my finger.  Fortunately, it was a different finger than the one I’d machete’d earlier.  NOT so fortunately, I dropped the massive chunk of sweetness on my toes.

As I hobbled across the kitchen, I suddenly realized that this cozy act of creating a yummy magical masterpiece had straight-up turned into a game of survival.

I donned my sunflower bandana, pushed up the sleeves on my sleeveless tank top, and tied on my Cup of Cheer baking apron. Let the games begin!

I didn’t gently whisk my eggs; I beat those bitches ’til they had no whites.  I didn’t just combine my spices; I tossed them around like a rowboat in 15ft swells.  I didn’t just gently shake those crisp apple slices around in the spice-heaven; I flung them around while yelling WHO’S YOUR DADDY?  I didn’t carefully place my crust on the pie plate; I smashed it in there so it knew who’s boss.  I didn’t just spoon my pie filling into the crust; oh hell no, I POURED it in.  I did, however, gently place the top crust on & crimped the edges quite beautifully, if I do say so myself.

I wanted to bake that son of a bitch at 500° to really drive my point home, but at this point, we were both battle weary.  Out of respect, I eased the pie dish into the oven- which I set at 400°- and sat down on the floor, with my back resting against the oven door.  I laughed about the good times we’d had- picking out the shiniest apples. I shed a tear over the apple I’

d lost at the store.  It was a touching, bonding moment between two combat-weary veterans as the battle drew to a conclusion.

I set the timer, turned out the light, and limped out of the kitchen.  55 minutes later I realized that I’d forgotten to turn the gas on, so my foe had been quietly waiting in the oven, unscathed, while I celebrated victory.  

Well played, my Apples. Well played.

Just wait ‘til I eat you later with the vanilla ice cream that I forgot to buy.

By Teresa M

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