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Do you remember a recipe from your youth that when you think about it, your mouth waters?
That’s how I feel about Great Aunt Arzley’s apple pie filling.
When I was a girl, I’d help my mother and grandma make batches of filling and can it for the winter months.
It was my very favorite thing to bottle in the fall because it made the whole house smell amazing AND I got to eat the warm, cinnamon laced leftovers spooned over ice cream at the end. I remember trying to turn the crank on the peeler/corer and never having much success, but they always let me try.
It was a sticky sweet process that I still love all these years later.
The recipe comes from a 30+ year old family cookbook, but it dates back long before 1983.
My great-grandmother, Madeline Losser Anderson, grew up in Benjamin, Utah. She was a very special lady to me. My family and I lived in her basement when I was a little girl and helped her through her last little while on this earth. She had a big beautiful garden and was the most service oriented lady around. I was only 4 and yet I vividly remember her ugly shag carpet that ate my toys, her jewelry box of beautiful brooches, and her soft, kind hands. Grandma had a brother named Lamar and he was married to a fantastic cook, named Arzley Peterson Losser, who was from Santaquin.
Together, my great uncle and aunt built a life in the sweet little town of Payson, Utah.
Lamar and Arzley owned a little grocery store in their town that was eventually torn down to make way for the freeway expansion. Uncle Lamar was also the mayor for a time.
My Grandma, Lamar and Arzley’s niece, told me that Arzley was a wonderful cook. My grandma is one of the best home-cooks that I know, so that is a great compliment coming from her. If you come across a recipe by Aunt Arzley in the cookbook, there’s a good bet that it is delicious.
It must be the romantic in me, but I love that the recipes in this old book were typed out on a typewriter.
I found these old pics of Arzley and Lamar in my family tree on Family Search and just had to share.
How cute is this darling lady in her stylish cat-eyed glasses?
via Family Search
And this one from their 50th wedding anniversary shows what cute personalities they had.
I love my great uncle’s smile and the softness in Arzley’s eyes. They look like they really enjoyed those many years with each other and that is the sweetest part of the whole photo.
via Family Search
I struggle with the geneology aspect of family history, but I live for the real stuff… the stories, memories, and lives behind the names. There is something about knowing where I came from that makes me feel closer to my family and more confident in who I am. I truly believe with all my being that we are blessed when we turn our hearts to our ancestors.
No matter what city I live in, when I make this pie filling I feel home.
This year, the apple tree in my in-laws front yard was exploding with tangy little fruit.
My mama and I made 28 quarts of pie filling from these tiny apples.
This time it was my daughter who was trying her best to turn the crank on the peeler just like I did all those years ago. Makes this 80’s/90’s kid want to belt out “The Circle of Life” but I’ll save that to embarrass my kids in front of their friends later.
I hope someday my girl looks back and treasures that moment.
I know I will.