The Melancholy of Memory

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My partner and I made an apple crisp on the weekend.

A simple recipe — sliced apples in a glass pan with a flour-brown sugar-cinnamon-butter combination put on top. Bake until browned. Basically. (Except we used margarine because we’re lactose-intolerant, and try to avoid dairy where we can so we can still have ice cream and cheese.)

When I was a young child my Oma (Dutch for grandmother) taught me how to cut apples the proper way. Halve it, quarter it, use a paring knife to cut out the seeds and peel it. She was so good at it she could cut out the seeds and peel a slice in one deft movement. Her specialty was applesauce — the secret, she said, was to make it from Granny Smiths, so it wasn’t oversweet.

It’s been over a year since she died, and I couldn’t stop crying as I cut apples and pared out their seeds.

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