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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

"Maybe It Was the Barometric Pressure"

November 1, 2003

Listened to the show Saturday night, and it was not bad. Guess I was in the mood or maybe it was the barometric pressure but the music was quite enjoyable this time around. Halfway through the show, I sent the kids outside because they were screaming. They said it was too cold out but they changed their tune once I handed them a rake and told them to go earn their allowance. So I had the kitchen to myself for a good half hour while I cut up apples for two pies. I used Cortlands—second only to Wealthys for perfect pie apples, in my opinion—and I confess I've given up on the red apple peeler gizmo I got for my birthday last year. You know, the kind where you impale the apple on one end and turn the crank on the other, and the skin is shaved away in one long red ribbon while your apple is cored and sliced. Well, it never has gone that way for me. The apples split and fall off halfway through, and it seems much more efficient to peel and pare them with one of the small lifetime warranty knives my husband sold when we were first married. The handles are made from the same material as bowling balls.

Anyway, that Jeff Lang with his guitar music got me moving around. I thought it was sweet how he missed his wife and I wondered whether Mr. Sundberg has a picture of me in his wallet. He was on a plane at the time, coming home from a motivational speakers' convention in New Orleans. He goes to two or three a year in order to "recharge" himself, as he says. I guess two days with a roomful of motivational speakers would be a real charge.

I nearly tipped when Butch Thompson began playing that clarinet. It's not really dancing music, but I sure tried. That's when the kids came in and asked if I was having a stroke. I told them if they stayed outside twenty minutes more they could each have some candy. I got the big bowl down from the top shelf of the pantry and they each grabbed a handful on their way out.

Dutch apple pie is easier than crust-topped pie, but I make it mainly because it tastes better. I'm not Dutch, I don't think, but I sure enjoy anything with a crumb topping. I slid both pies into the oven and set the timer for one hour just as the Johnny Cash song played. Now you wouldn't know it to look at me, but I have a real soft spot for Johnny Cash. When I was a kid, I'd spend evenings sitting on a stool in the basement watching my dad tie jigs with hair from the tails of whitetail deer. He played Johnny Cash and knew all the words and sang along, loud. After I learned the words, I sang along with him and my favorite was "Ring of Fire." I can see him now, hunched over his can of Miller Lite, concentrating real hard on the bright pink jigs lined up on a string over his work table, singing "I fell into a burning ring of fire."

My husband doesn't sing. He doesn't dance, either. Last time we danced together was our wedding night, in the basement of a Polish dance hall in North Minneapolis. I wish he liked to dance. I would love to go out dancing one of these nights. I'd consider missing the show for a night of dancing. If you're dead, you're dead, I tell him. If you're not, get up and dance. But he does like apple pie.

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