Homemade Apple Strudel

This meal is a myth of partial perspectives. In one, my head peaks over the table and tries to pull the dough of the apple strudel to make sure some of it stretches over the edge proving that the dough was perfectly kneaded. In another I am taller placing apple slices carefully side by side. In a later one I help my mother knead the dough and my father peel and slice the apples while my siblings sprinkle on raisins.

In all of these there is the common perspective of the fork cutting a warm slice of apple strudel on a plate with ice cream. After having children of my own I understand how they must have enjoyed watching us help make and then eat this dessert which, as far as I can remember, was the meal.

After many years my sisters and I tried to make that meal for them one holiday afternoon when we were all together again since it was not something they did anymore, while there was still time. We read our mother’s handwritten recipe card and she explained what parts we could ignore and what we needed to add that she did not clearly write down. We could not get the dough as large as any of us remembered it being. We realized that none of us were as picky as we used to be with how apple slices should be placed. In the end, it tasted OK without reaching the level of mythic perfection we expected, but we think they enjoyed watching us try.

CHILDREN’S TINY HANDS
SPRING WARMS MEMORIES AGAIN
PARENTS WATCHING ON


Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday hosted by Toni Spencer.

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

41 thoughts on “Homemade Apple Strudel”

  1. food and preparing the food brings and keeps families connected – I really enjoyed the slow moving haibun , each word itself a morsel to be savoured before the final product emerged. the memories last longer that what we remember the food tasted like. very precious haiku at the end, the tiny hands so evocative.

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    1. Yes, when young we were very careful to place the apple slices down individually and evenly and we each had our own territories to fill. It took longer to get the dessert made, but I don’t think anyone cared about that. Thank you!

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    1. I can see how a group of people could get together to make cookies. Our mother made cookies as well, but she usually did that alone except for our help tasting the batter to make sure it was good enough. It always was. Sometimes we even put the batter on the cookie sheet when we were old enough.

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    1. I don’t think she used the recipe she had, but it was there just in case she forgot something. I tried making strudel according to her recipe with my family as well. It didn’t catch on. Nothing compared to my memories of what we made long ago.

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  2. I like that spring warms memories, Frank! I also love apple strudel. I still make a rice pudding that my mom used to make. It’s baked custard with rice but I still love it and it melts in my mouth. All this reading today made me so hungry!!!!

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    1. I think we made rice pudding, or some kind of pudding. We usually ate oat meal rather than rice. Now it is more rice than oat meal. Reading these memories made me realize that I have more memories of meals than I thought I would have. Just about every relationship has meals associated with it.

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  3. What a precious haibun and I do not mean that cattily. I love how your family used to make strudel and then later, you kids as adults with the kids looking on. I love apple strudel. I’ll bet you guys made really good strudel. The haiku is excellent as well. I am so glad I have a piece of apple pie in the fridge. This would be so hard to read without it, although it isn’t the same thing. Loved this haibun.

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    1. The strudel my parents used to make with us was very good. I’ve never had commercial strudel that tasted anything like it. I am glad you liked the haibun! I’ve seen this form before but I didn’t know what it was until I saw your prompts. Thank you!

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  4. Oh that childhood perspective that makes everyting bigger, tastier, better — revisits as an adult always make us wonder as somehow, the revist doesn’t meet the remembered 🙂 My husband’s mother made cinnamon rolls, tiny ones. And although many have her written recipe, they never taste as good 🙂

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    1. The written recipe contained little information, mostly how high to heat the oven and how long to cook it. Yet one doesn’t need much more than that. The one trick of lifting the bed sheet to roll up the strudel was not written down because it was obvious after one saw it done once. I think I’ll try making it again. Thanks!

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  5. I love that you and your sisters attempted to recreate the strudel for your mum and dad, it is an action that comes of love, a kind and loving thing to do.
    My mum used to make the most excellent steak and kidney pie. The meat base was topped with shortcrust pastry at least 1/2″ thick. It was pure perfection. Try as I might, I could never recreate it – she must have had magic in her fingers as she made the pastry…
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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    1. I have a hard time making crust as well although I sometimes can get a pizza dough to turn out the way I want it to. My wife makes an onion pancake that is mysterious to me. Maybe I am just imagining that I can’t do it, but I have also never had something similar to what she makes even in Chinese restaurants. I do make the dough for her, but the rest of the magic is all in her hands. Thanks, Anna!

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    1. It may be the flour that we used. I think it is possible to get flour with more gluten (or something) in it and that would make it stretch more. Perhaps that was standard decades ago. I do remember seeing the dough stretch over the edge of the table. Thank you for the comment!

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