Love in a Basket

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe.  -Carl Sagan

pie basket

I have the pie basket.

I rescued it the night before the garage sale, horrified that my mother and her sisters would discard such a sacred family object.

“We couldn’t agree on who should get it so we thought it would be better to just sell it.”

“What?” I wanted to scream in all capitals, in bold, and really, really BIG.

“That’s not happening,” is what I really said.

Every Thanksgiving of my memory (except for the last two years of her nineties) my grandmother would make the pies—pumpkin, apple, and the occasional mincemeat, and transport them to our house safely nestled in towels inside the pie basket. We would gather around as she unhooked the tiny latch and lifted the top, to behold the first glimpse and get the first mouth-watering whiff of the beauty of them.

Perfection, that’s what her apple pie was, and we anticipated it more than any other Thanksgiving treat (Although her cranberry and pumpkin breads were a close second).

She would start with homemade pie crust, rolled thin, which always turned out golden and flaky–never burnt, never tough, never soggy, never blah. She tried many times to teach me how to replicate her crust, but impatience was always my downfall. For her, it was an act of artistry and love to gently mold it to the perfect shape to fit the pie tin. For me, it was just a ball of obstinate dough that refused to become what I willed.

Much like the obstinate blob I must be in the Master’s hands, impatient in my suffering as I’m shaped by His love and molded by His artistry:

 Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness.  Romans 5:2-4 VOICE

Refined, that’s what Gramma’s pie was. Macintosh apples, fresh from the orchard, were the only kind she would use. Hand peeling and coring each one, she would ever so carefully slice them into thin slivers.  This part alone would take her at least an hour, perhaps two. These seemingly hundreds of paper-thin slices would then be meticulously layered in the crust, dotted with butter, and sprinkled with a touch of flour, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice and then the second crust would be finger-crimped to the first, in wavy ruffles of equal size and shape.

Oh how we loved that pie. And oh how that pie loved us. The pie basket brought us the perfect LOVE pie every Thanksgiving.

It’s been empty of pie for many years, but it will never be empty of my Grandmother’s love—warm, sweet, bubbly, a little tart, and so satisfyingly wonderful and delicious.

This Thanksgiving I’m pulling the pie basket off the shelf and giving thanks for all the apple pies of my Gramma’s love.

They feed me still.

Linda Crawford

7 thoughts on “Love in a Basket

  1. My brother made the pies with my mother. I got to eat the pie dough. Thanks for reminding me that the pies made with love feed us forever. My mom has been in heaven for 8 years, and stopped making pies long before that. I don’t eat actual pies anymore for my health, but I can still eat those love pies. Thanks for encouraging our creativity and to color outside the lines. I am working on writing, wondering how God is calling me to use the gifts God has given me.

  2. In our family, Mom made the best apple pie in the land. Of course homemade crust and filling. The best.
    !
    I’m glad your Gramma made the best pie in the land for your family!

    Happy Thanksgiving Linda. Hope it’s the best yet

  3. li-i-i-i-i-i-i-nda
    yoo hoo
    it HAS occurred to ya that it’s your turn to put a pie in that basket, right? you have been vetted, darling so don’t fret none, grandma will help you.

    love
    suzee B

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