Applesauce 2014

Raymond Hilmeyer brought down a few bags of apples from the neighbors orchard. I think this is the best apple sauce I have ever made. No sugar added just apples cooked on the stove until they are soft. Then run through the Kitchenaid with the attachments for making sauce.


2014-10-26 10.14.32 2014-10-26 09.56.45 2014-10-26 09.56.44 2014-10-26 09.56.42Wash the apples, slice them up into chunks that will fit in the mixer.

Put all the apples in a pan on the stove add a little water (less than 1/2 a cup) and heat them for about twenty minutes or until they are starting to get mushy.

Run the apples through the mixer or a Foley food mill.

Add cinnamon or red hots whatever you like, I just eat it plain.

Talking to Mom

I heard a story today from Mom. She told of going to the Pharmacy in 1970 and being told she couldn’t get a prescription. Chris and I had the mumps, Margaret was ten months old, and Dad was taking treatments for Hodgkin s disease.

Grandpa Smith had driven Mom over to the pharmacy and when she came out crying he said come on lets go back in and get that. Mom doesn’t recall why she had to wait but with Grandpa Smith at her side she was given the prescription and headed home in a better frame of mind.

She has told me a couple of stories of Grandpa Smith helping her out during those years. Always he stepped in when needed and lent a hand. Trips down to see Dad when he spent thirteen months in different hospitals after a motorcycle accident. Great Grandma and Grandpa Smith also gave Mom rides down to Albany to visit Dad but Great Grandpa had to stop and take a nap about half way down and then again the same thing on the return trip. Family helped a lot getting through those times.

The Origin of the Family Meeting

I have used the phrase family meeting many times over during my short life. Not everyone can grasp the importance of a well organized family meeting. So I will try to further explain the meaning of this here.

The family meeting for us originated during a time when Dad was influenced by one Bob Ianson. I’m not certain either of them grasped the meaning or use of a family meeting. At one point without a family meeting the TV was moved to the front porch. When I told an acquaintance of this later in life he wondered out loud if we then watched the TV through a window. I had to further explain that there were no electrical outlets on the porch and we were moving the TV to the porch to limit it’s influence in our lives.

The TV eventually came back inside and was watched by the family using both channels and sometimes when cloud cover was right channel two from Utica NY even came in with minimal fuzz. Dad was over ruled on this maybe by himself or by all the pressure we children put on him. I don’t think Mom cared if the TV stayed on the porch or never came back in.

Another time with no family meeting Dad was over ruled again when he decided we would not have a Christmas tree. I believe this time Mom was the one that reversed this family policy. I believe Dad had heard that bringing a tree inside was linked to a pagan ritual and had nothing to do with christian religious beliefs.

To limit these reversals Dad went to the family meeting format. We would all sit down at the table and he would lay out the plan with the reasons for why it would be done. The we would get a chance to voice any concerns and he would weigh them against the reasons. In this way things could be seen from a different angle if needed.

The first and only family meeting I remember was the one where it was announced that we were moving the following morning. Mom got up and went in the kitchen to clean, I believe she may have been somewhat upset. We children just sat there stunned into silence. I’m not sure which move this was, I think we moved eleven times by the time I was nineteen and this was just one of many. I thought this number was sixteen but I can’t name the other locations.

Mind you we lived in the trailer on Mineral Springs Rd for seven straight years of stability over two stays, so ten moves were made in twelve years. Some moves were made for work like the one to Valatie, others were to stay ahead of bill collectors or just because it was time. A rolling stone gathers no moss.

My sister claims we once moved while she was in college and never told her we had moved while she was away. She did find us eventually so I doubt she was completely truthful with us on this issue.

Places we lived.

Helmire Rd owned

Mineral Springs RD rented from grandparents

Richmondville rental, there was also a move to East Cobleskill in here that never happened as the land lord found out there was some unpaid rent in the recent past and refused to let us move in.

Paul Hunt’s rental

Silvernail Rd Valatie NY rented from the Sterrits

Esperance we owned this place for maybe two years.

Ed Sisson’s rental on Route Twenty

Mineral Springs Rd some sort of deal with my grandparents where Dad owned the trailer and maybe some of the land.

Shad Point trailer park

Randall trailer park

Hyndseville where the house burned while we were not home, we also lived in a trailer here for a short while before the land was sold to a farmer. We used to drive by and look at the vacant slab where the house once stood.