We don’t really do Valentine’s Day. I mean, we do – we acknowledge it, we plan a fun dinner at home, and we exchange small gifts. It’s nice, not having to stress about an Important and Meaningful and Sometimes Expensive present. That’s what birthdays and Christmas are for. Not the silly Hallmark holidays. I used to get a mixed CD every year, which I really liked, but I got something else this year. T bought us a couple of books to read in our very own book club.
We’re reading The 5 Love Languages, something his boss had mentioned to him and highly recommended. I also suspect this is where the hot tub recommendation came from, too. As a place to sit, relax, and talk to each other without distraction. Not for anything dirty you might be thinking of. Eww. Anyway, we’re a few chapters into it and I think it’s a good book. First, it’s short, so you’re not committing to something akin to a psychiatric novel. Second, it makes sense if you take the time to really think about it. We each sit down and read a chapter, then we discuss it. Sometimes we ask questions of each other, sometimes we just make comments on what the chapter said, and sometimes we talk about things that don’t really have anything to do with the book. I guess the important thing is that it gets us talking. Not that we have problems talking to each other; T is probably one of the easiest people to talk to about just about anything. But reading the book kind of gives us another tool for communication, and I think communication only makes things better between people. I’m also intrigued because he’s the one who initiated this. I didn’t say that I felt we weren’t communicating well enough, I didn’t mention that I felt onloved, I didn’t even know this book existed. It’s something he did on his own and it’s kind of touching and sweet that he’s interested in understanding our relationship and making it better than it is.
To try and sum up the book, everyone has their own love language. It usually mimics the environment you grew up in and it’s rare that couples speak the same “language”. For example, you might speak the language of Words of Affirmation. You like hearing that you’re appreciated, that you’re loved, and that you make someone happy. Because this is your language, it’s also how you express your love. You tell people that they look great, thank them for a delicious dinner, and say how grateful you are to have them in your life. But, what if you’re married to someone who speaks the language of Quality Time? They might appreciate your nice words, but because they’d really prefer just spending more time with you, they might feel like something’s missing. Conversely, they might try and spend time with you, focus on listening to you, but since they aren’t putting forth compliments and words of appreciation, you would feel like something’s missing. But, once you figure out that you’re both speaking different “languages” and then learn how to speak the other’s language, you open up a whole new world of communication. It really is interesting. And it makes a lot of sense.
One of the chapters was talking about how the tone of your requests or remarks can completely affect the desired result. The example conversation involved a guy who missed his wife’s apple pies. T said how he missed my apple pies and I reminded him that I don’t make apple pies. But, the other night, I was feeling nice, so I made an apple pie. But I call it Cheater Apple Pie.
I don’t mean Mock Apple Pie… the one you make with Ritz crackers that somehow, mysteriously, really does taste like apple pie once it’s all done. And I don’t mean Cheater Pie like T went and did something he shouldn’t have. I mean Cheater Pie in the sense that it was way too easy, and because I cheated and used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts. But you know what? Those pie crusts were tasty, tender, and flaky. And the pie came out delicious.
Mock Apple Pie
1 box Pillsbury refigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
4 medium apples (I had Braeburn and a Golden Delicious)
spoon of flour
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Unroll one pie crust and place it in a pie pan. Whatever a standard pie pan is. 9-inches?
2. Peel, core, and slice the apples. Pile them in a large bowl and sprinkle with a spoonful of flour. Add 1/4 c. sugar and then sprinkle in some more, just in case you’re worried the pie won’t be sweet enough. Sprinkle in some cinnamon – be generous. Toss the apples, sugar, and spice with your hands.
3. Carefully layer the apples into the pie pan. 4 apples seemed like it would fill the pie, but they shrank after baking, so you could probably stuff 5 apples into this pie.
4. Unroll the second pie crust and place it gently on top. I actually placed the edge of the pie crust on the tope edge of the pan and unrolled it directly over the apples. Cut a few venting slits into the top crust.
5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the crust is brown. If you take a knife and poke at the apples through the venting slit, you can test them without making more holes in the crust.
6. Let the pie cool for about an hour so it doesn’t get all runny and sticky when you slice it.