Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Inspriation for Life and Apples

Do you have anyone in your life who has (or continues) to inspire you creatively?  Those people you admire are vital, but what about those who invest in your creativity, who are honest but encouraging and thought provoking…  I hope you do, but either way, I’d like to share some of mine with you, to pass their inspiration along so that it might benefit more.

Meet my parents!  My first inspirer-ers.  Is that a word?  It is now…  Anyway, they have been encouraging and uplifting from day one and it's so exciting to see them investing in and inspiring my children now, too!  I love this photo of them because it makes me laugh every time.  So here’s the back story: we were walking along a windy beach, I got ahead a little bit and looked back to see them walking along together, talking and laughing.  So romantic!  I whipped out my camera to capture the moment and this is what I got:  Mom reaching down to pick up a shell and Dad holding out his jacket to fly!  They love each other and they love life!
Dad claims this is a more natural pose =)

I could go on about how wonderful they both are, but my purpose of this post is to encourage you with something that they gave, and continue to give me.  My Dad is the most God-loving, hard-working, creative man I’ve ever known.  Although I don’t think he would consider himself artsy, he sees the beauty and majesty of God’s creation in everything from the greatest mountains to the smallest microbe.  And he’s so good about inviting others into the outdoors (or anything he’s interested in, really) and making it fun.  I want to be that kind of person to others.  I can’t think of anything more inspiring than creation and the God it directs us to.  And his creativity comes out in more electronic ways, also, that I can only hope to understand someday!

He and Mom both share this knack for making things work.  If you can’t afford it or can’t get it, then you find a way to do it yourself or take what you already have to substitute. This led to teaching us the determination and perseverance that many projects throughout life require.   Of course this comes with some trial and error, but I love their stance that mistakes are for learning!  I also love their giving hearts.  Yes, it’s good to make and do, but so much better to share these things with others!

Now Mom is very much the sort of person who would just rather create things herself.  Her “famous” quote has always been, “we could make that!”  When you make it yourself it is the ideal size, shape, color, function…why pay more when we could do it ourselves?  Also, her love for animals had encouraged many to care for their critters well.  Again, I could quote them both until the cows came home and one quick blurb will not do justice to all their words of advice, encouragement, wisdom and inspiration.

But one more thing I’ve admired about them is that they always try to find the good in every situation. Which leads us to my bridge to the apples: they are one of Mom’s favorite things!  Though autumn has never been her favorite season, she’s always enjoyed apples whether they be baked in a dish or standing alone.  This is the first year since I lived with them that we’ve had an apple tree in our back yard and I LOVE it!  Free fruit!  Fruit was so precious in Alaska, we are kind of going crazy with all the fruit now.  I can’t stand to see any of it go to waste!  It is an old, untended tree that we have here, so it has been necessary to cut out the big bruises and insects.  Still, I have been making as many apple dishes as I can!  I wanted to share an apple round-up with you of some of the recipes I have been using (and a couple I’d like to try!)

1.       Dried apple chips: may be done in the oven or a dehydrator.  Or even strung on a thread and hung on the hearth if you want to do it the truly rustic way!  I followed this simply wonderful recipe and my huge batch disappeared in a matter of days.

2.       Mountain Apple Dumplings.  The official recipe for this will be coming soon, but if you’re in a hurry and want the unedited (well-loved) version, zoom in on my recipe card below. 

3.       Apple Cider Vinegar:  well, except for the cider bit.  You just use the toss-away cores and skins instead!  This may not save time or much money, but how cool is it that you don’t have to throw away your cores or skins!  The homemade vinegar recipe can be found here in her creative post.

4.       Apple Crisp: This crisp has been my go-to this season and we’ve already made three batches!  Perfect combo of warm tart apples, and cinnamon, oat gooiness!

5.       Irish Apple Cake/Bread: Straight from the Emerald Isle, this lady’s concoction is sure to make you feel like you’re sitting at the comfort of a warm hearth on a soft morning.

Yet to try:
  1. Also, I have yet to find chickens to feed the pieces that are unfit for my family!  There’s always those super bruised pieces or the ones that had (or have) worms leave their marks.  It makes me miss having chickens because I hate throwing anything away! 
 And here's one last apple bonus: how to keep your apples from browning!

Oh, man, this is making my mouth water!  You can have your pumpkin spice!  I’ll take apple as my autumn flavor any day!  What will you be doing with your apples this year?  I hope you’ll get a chance to try some of these delectable delights during this time of changing seasons!  Oh!  And if you’re able, give your folks (or mine) a hug and let them know how they’ve inspired you in life!  If not, be that inspiration to someone else!

No comments:

Post a Comment