My Grandmother’s Apple Peeling Skill

Yesterday as I was peeling an apple, slowly working my knife around the outside, the apple peeling remained intact in one, long peel.

As my hands worked, my mind was busy going over the day’s events and news, and then it drifted back to the days when I was a little girl who watched as my grandmother peeled apples, watching wide-eyed and chatting with her as only a child can do.

Sitting on the porch, her always-present flowery apron over her dress and a small pan in her lap, she often worked on whatever fruits and vegetables were coming in from the garden. Her weathered hands shelled peas and butterbeans, snapped green beans, peeled peaches, and the fall was for apples.

What particularly mesmerized me about her working with apples was the one, long, continuous apple peel. She started at the top near the stem, and the peel never broke as she worked her way around and down, until she finished at the bottom.

“How do you do that, Grandma?” I’d ask with childlike innocence, sitting on the porch floor looking up at her. It seemed an impossible task and I thought she was amazing, a magician as far as I was concerned, to be able to do something that was so impossible.

An older me eventually mastered the one-piece apple peel that had seemed so difficult when I was young.

All that swirled through my memory as I finished peeling my own apple and, voila! The peel was in one piece … one long, unbroken length of apple peel, and I smiled.

It was a sweet memory, a visit with my grandmother who passed away when I was in 8th grade. I wear her wedding band with my own … she is never far away. And yesterday she was right here with me, probably smiling as I worked.

Memories. Family. The two are inseparable, and both are precious.

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