I’ve hated applesauce since I was about five years old. Detested it. Wouldn’t touch the stuff. Why? I had acute tonsillitis as a child and missed a fair amount of school because of it. I have a memory of a beautiful plaid taffeta dress with a big collar that I had planned to wear when it was my turn to lead my first grade class in the pledge of allegiance. My hand would be hidden under the collar as I placed it over my heart. I so looked forward to that moment! It never came. You guessed it – home in bed with tonsils inflamed.
What does this have to do with applesauce? Well, in the fifties, the antibiotic of choice was sulfa. Since I wasn’t able to swallow the pill, it was pulverized and “cleverly disguised” in – yup – applesauce. Didn’t work. The result was something incredibly bitter. Eventually, my tonsils were removed and sulfa-laced applesauce was a thing of the past. Still, all these years, even though I love apples both raw and cooked, I haven’t touched applesauce. Even when my baked apples collapse into something any sane person would call applesauce and I enjoy them thoroughly, I wouldn’t eat applesauce. I had my story, created in childhood, and I was sticking to it.
Well, a week or so ago I decided to make baked apple slices. I found some incredibly flavorful tart apples at my local greenmarket, added cinnamon, nutmeg and just a bit of cider and baked them. They were downright addictive. I bought more apples and made a second batch. These apples didn’t old together, but they tasted great. As I stared down into my bowl, I realized what I was eating – applesauce.
It made me think of a bad pasta sauce commercial where, at the end, the actress wonders what other bad choices she may have made. Made me wonder, too. What stories am I holding onto? Probably many of the things I’ve avoided or bypassed are much more significant than applesauce. You never know.
As I continue to look at the stories of other women, I continue to examine my own story. What else, I wonder, can I let go of? Or embrace? I can’t wait to find out!