As I wash the copper-bottomed saucepan in the warm, soapy water in the kitchen sink, I gaze out the window at the apple trees in the back yard. The branches are bent low, nine-months-pregnant heavy, full of crimson fruit. I sigh, thinking of all the work those bushels of apples will be. How should I prepare and preserve them?
As the dishes dry, I search cookbooks with worn spines and splattered pages:
Apple pie, baked apples, apple juice, apple dumplings;
faded, dog-eared, recipes on 3″ x 5″ index cards:
apple cake, apple roll, apple bread, dried apples, apple bars, pickled apples;
canning and freezing instruction booklets, bookmarked to favorites:
apple sauce, apple jam, apple jelly, apple butter;
and recipes, only a click away on the internet:
apple cider, caramel apples, apple fritters.
Should I freeze or can or dry or bake? There are so many apples . . .
What I should do is be content and thankful for the bounty God has provided. Usually I am discontented when I lack something, but today I am complaining about abundance. Paul experienced these extremes, too, and learned how to deal with them.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:12,13 NIV
I sigh again, this time with whispers of “Thank you” and “Give me strength.”
I know what it is to have plenty.
I think I’ll bake an apple pie, and while it’s still warm I’ll get the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer for those who like it à
But my slice? I’ll have a scoop of contentment, please, maybe two.