Summer apples will always be my favorite.
The summer I was 12 we moved to a small rural town in southern Illinois to live near family, while my dad commuted to his final duty station in Memphis.
For a born and raised SoCal girl it was a shock. I didn't like bugs, the humidity or weather for that matter. I had only gone to one school from Preschool to 7th grade. Everyone I knew, I grew up with. I was afraid I didn't know how to make friends.
I remember asking my mom, if kids wore shoes to school.
It should be noted, that
1) I was a flip flop kid outside of school & barefoot anytime I was allowed to be.
2) I wore a uniform to school from age 4 to 12 and couldn't fathom not doing that - How do kids quickly get ready in the morning if they have to pick out school clothes? Are they allowed to go barefoot?! (secretly hoping the answer was yes).
We moved into an old farm house on a few acres, the land owner was growing hay, it had an old barn and farm kitchen. That summer I didn't know anyone but family and no cousins my age live near, so typical pre-teen complaining and boredom were my daily activities.
One Saturday my Aunt Pam and my Grandma went antique shopping, they drug me along. That day changed everything.
Waiting for them, I was flipping through old cookbooks. Apples Sauce, Apple Pie, apple tart, apple chips, pie crust, quick bread....huh, interesting. My aunt bought me that cookbook and my Grandma, bought me an old pie safe.
That evening, with my Aunts help, I made applesauce, then pie. From the first taste, the summer days seemed to fly by, happily filled with pie and fireflies.