Gravenstein Applepaloosa & Being Fearless
September 3rd, 2017 by Wendy

It all began in the summer of 1973. I heard about Gravenstein apples making the best apple pie. With a short growing season, I decided- on the spot- to make 50 apple pies! With the Julia Child recipe for pie crust, and the Joy of Cooking recipe for apple pie, and the help of April (later became my mother-in-law), I dove right in. (In true 1970’s ‘back to the land’ style, when we were all Martha Stuart and didn’t know it yet, I used the peels & cores to make apple jelly, and the leftover apples became apple sauce.)

I should have been afraid to take on this challenge. I had little experience making any kind of pie, and when I did make pie, I used that (awful) stuff in a box to make crust.  And it was a big investment in butter, apples, and other ingredients. Yet I was confident I could do it.

In the same way, I might have been afraid to tackle a king size, floor-to-the-floor quilt like the floor of the Taj Majal, when I’d only made a baby quilt up to that moment in 1971. But a Stanford University student wanted to hire me to make a quilt for his girlfriend….and I thought ‘how hard can it be?’

Taj Mahal







I can’t claim to be fearless because I’m afraid of many things, mostly things that never happen (and that’s another topic for another day). But when it comes to creative leaps and ideas, I’ve enjoyed a mostly life-long trust in my ability to bring it to life (there have been a few dark moments, but again, another story for another day).

In the last two days, I made 19 pies, pie crust roll ups (thanks, Mom, for this treat), and applesauce. The pies and most of the roll ups went into the freezer raw. Sometime over the next year, the time will be right for fresh apple pie or crust pastries. (Thanks, David, for wrapping the pies and getting them safely into the freezer.)

Here are the photos showing the sequence. Oh yes, the cats are always in the middle of everything. There is still time for you to make your own Gravenstein apple pies- but don’t hesitate- the season is almost over. OR, dive into your next maker project undaunted and unafraid.


Crust, dry ingredeintsLR

dividing crustsLR

prep applesLR







ready for top crustLR


ready for freezerLR

in the freezerLR






cats helpLR

pie crust rollsLR

apple sauce 1LR

apple sauce doneLR






No apple jelly this year—

peels, coresLR


One Response  
  • Tierney Hogan writes:
    September 4th, 20171:27 pmat

    Rushing right over (cough, cough, cough…the smoke) to get some! Looks quite yummy!

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