Ancient feminine wisdom
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The Smell of Dried Apples
If there is one thing that I connect with fall more than anything else, it must be the smell of apples drying. My grandmother was great at taking care of and stocking all the things growing on the farm, and as soon as the apple trees started to let down apples, she would collect them and start making all sorts of wonderful things – apple sauce, apple pie, eple kake (apple cake) – and dried apples.
She would core the apples and cut them in quite thin slices, making them resemble tiny doughnuts. Then she would put strings up in every window around the house, and hang the apple slices up there to dry.
When I visited her during the fall season, the sweet smell of drying apples would fill the whole house, but as the door to the the guest bedroom had not been opened for a while, the smell of drying apples would fill my nose with delight upon going to bed.
I remember lying in bed watching the apples on their string, wondering if it might be acceptable to taste the slice that had fallen off the string and was now lying there on its own amongst the little statues on the window sill. Although my grandmother was very generous, it was clear even to us kids, that saving up food for the long winter was an important thing, not to be interferred with unnecessarily. So I would settle with the smell, and dream about apples and Snowhite and maybe a viscious stepmother, but also a handsome prince.