Whatever people may say about Facebook, myself included, there is no doubt that it really does help you connect with long lost friends. Last year, I was blessed with reconnecting with my BFF from high school, Janie. After graduation, our friendship was a casualty of life and all its distractions. But, I never stopped remembering her and wondering how her life was going. After all, the older you get, the more you appreciate the friendships that mattered and the experiences that shaped you. She was a part of both. Once my oldest daughter asked me what I remembered the best from high school. I told her that was easy. I remembered my best friend Janie picking my sister and I up for school in her little blue Toyota truck. We'd roll the windows down, blast the radio up, and laugh, while my sister, herself, and I all shared drags from a Capri cigarette (of course, I left this part out). Yes, we were rebels. That kind of freedom is only felt when you are that young and can only be equaled to hearing the recess bell in elementary school. Both feelings, in my older age, I remember well. I think I try to capture it every time I go running in the sunshine.
Fast forward almost 20 years, I traveled last week to visit my BFF because I promised her last December when we met up in our home town over the holidays that I would go visit her. I try to never break my promises. It was a soulful and happy reunion. I felt right at home and we fell right back into our old friendship like true friends do. After all these years, we still know each other, because we knew each other when. True friends connect to your soul and never let go no matter what happens.
Here is the part where I tell you that Janie lives in Iowa. Yes, Iowa. So you can imagine the feedback I received from my hubby and friends when I told them I was going to Iowa for vacation. I didn't care. I love to travel and will travel almost anywhere, but if Iowa could only boast that it had the world's biggest wooden nickel (I have the picture), I still would have gone to visit, because my BFF from high school, Janie, lived there and I had a promise to keep. As it is, Iowa has a lot to see; the proud University of Iowa, rolling farmlands painted with harvest colors, trees painted in autumn glory, charming midwestern homes with screened in porches and lots of character, and a fascinating Amish community which contributes a contrast of old world into the new world but somehow makes sense in the mostly rural scenery.
Janie took me to an Amish grocery store where I found the cookbook that gave me the recipe for the Apple Crumb Pie I made for my family this Saturday.
Apple Crumb Pie
adapted from More Family Favorites submitted by Linda Gingerich
6 cups of Chopped Apples (I used a combination of Granny Smith and ____, and only used 5 cups)
2 tablespoons of margarine, melted (I used butter)
2 tablespoons of sour cream
4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon (used a teaspoon)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (used a teaspoon)
Pastry for a single 9" pie crust (I used a store bought Pillsbury crust and dusted both sides with flour)
In a bowl, combine the apples, butter, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon filling into pastry shell. For topping, combine 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a bowl; cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I doubled the crumb topping recipe to make sure I had a nice thick topping). Sprinkle over filling. Bake at 375F for 45 to 50 minutes or until apples are tender. Personal note: Let pie sit for about ten minutes before serving.
This was the first recipe I made from the cookbook. To me, it seemed appropriate. Apple Pie is old school comfort food. It is simple and just like true friendship it feeds the soul.
I can hardly wait to visit Iowa again. It is everything I expected from the Midwest and more. I was so happy to see my friend, Janie, and get a glimpse into her life. Janie drives a Ford Expedition now and neither one of us smokes, but I know we'd do almost anything to resurrect her little blue truck and take a drive down memory lane.