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Your children will always remember the things you say to them in the heat of a battle. Guard your tongue, no matter what happens. Your words may define the future of your relationship.

My dentist received that advice when she was a young parent. One of her daughters often put her to the test throughout childhood, even screaming at her mom, “I hate you!”

“I wanted to throttle her, but I would just say, ‘I love you, too,’” says Dr. H. “I bit my tongue many times.” Now that her daughter is grown with children of her own, Dr. H finds it amusing to hear her version of their relationship. “She’ll tell me that she just doesn’t understand how her friends can be so at odds with their mothers.” What her daughter remembers is how loved she was.

I’ve never been a parent myself, so I can only imagine how difficult it would be to follow that advice! I hope this encourages some mom or dad out there who is struggling with a difficult child. The evidence of your self-control may not come until you’re a grandmother yourself, but one day, you may be like Dr. H.: very glad that your words weren’t steeped in anger and hostility!

What’s the unforgettable thing your grandmother taught you that you’re grateful for? Or, if you’re a grandmother yourself, what do you wish you knew when you were younger? I wish you’d share it here!

These brief posts are my nod to those of you who like things short and sweet. Speaking of sweet, here’s my mother’s sour cream apple pie recipe. It’s a family favorite and I’ll be making it for my dad’s forthcoming birthday.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.

Barbara Ann’s Sour Cream Apple Pie Recipe
• Use your favorite pastry recipe, or do what we do: buy Pillsbury crusts. If you make your own, make enough for two crusts and pile on a lattice-work crust AFTER you top the pie with the streudel mix.
• 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• ¾ cup sugar
• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 egg
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced or sliced

Streusel Topping
• 1/3 cup all purpose flour
• 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 4 tablespoons butter
• ½ cup walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Roll the pie crust out and place in a nine-inch pie dish. Prick the sides and bottom, then place a piece of parchment paper or foil over the crust. Place pie weights over the paper and par-bake the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the weights and the parchment paper.
2. Meanwhile, stir together 2 tablespoons flour, salt, ¾ cup sugar and nutmeg in bowl. Combine egg, sour cream and vanilla in another bowl; mix well. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in diced apples and spoon mixture into the pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
3. Combine streusel ingredients in a bowl. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter until crumbly, using a pastry blender or a fork. Sprinkle crumb topping over pie and bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees. (I have been known to add the streusel topping and make lattice work of pie strips before the baking the pie. It didn’t seem to hurt a thing!)

Truth in advertising: the photo above isn’t one of my pies. I attended a wedding shower last year, and this pie was made by one of the young hostesses of the shower. I wish I could remember her name to give her credit!