The other day on facebook, my Uncle Jerry reminded me how much my father loved apple pie and how on a fishing trip to Vermont with my father, Daddy taught him to eat my Grandma Ginny’s apple pie with cheddar cheese. That’s the way they did it in Vermont. There the pie did not get eaten with ice cream like in Ohio. My uncle has been hooked on the cheese thing ever since but has not been able to quite duplicate that first experience. Even so, he said, a slice of apple pie and cheddar brings back memories to him of his brother-in-law, my father, and of the generosity he showed my uncle when he was a kid. Things like taking him on his first train ride and teaching him how to develop photos.
Daddy was, indeed, a very sociable and generous person. I can remember when I was a kid, if someone would drop over in the evening, while my mother was getting the coffee ready to boil on the stove, Daddy would run out to a ma & pa donut shop in Blue Ball, Ohio, and bring back a bag of fresh donuts. The donuts would be piled high on a plate and my parents and the visitors would sit around the table yakking, eating donuts and drinking coffee. How they ever slept after those nights is a mystery to me!
I don’t much care for donuts with a notable exception…say Breezeland Orchard’s Apple Cider Donut and I’m there! But maybe because I can’t duplicate that experience of sitting at the table, eating a donut and listening in on the adult conversation, donuts just aren’t the same.
Still, I can make a reasonably good apple pie and there is good sharp Vermont cheddar available just a short drive from our house. So to honor my father’s 90th birthday, which would be today, I made a pie and ate a piece with a slice of extra sharp cheddar…the kind that bites you back when you bite into it. And, like my uncle, with every bite of the cheddar and the pie, I remembered my father and thought about
how much I truly miss him.