Cinnamon, coarsely chopped apples, and brown sugar. Tonight, my kitchen smells like apple pie because I stopped in to see my parents today and Mom was baking. Lucky me.

I suppose there are people who would choose apple pie filling, posing as homemade, fresh from a can. Just like there are business owners who are happy to have someone, anyone, take care of their marketing. Sure, it’s not great but still – it’s close enough isn’t it?

We didn’t go out to restaurants much. I remember the smorgasbord place. I’m pretty sure me, my brother and baby sister got to eat for free. And I’ll never forget the ice cream cone dessert complete with a jelly bean happy face and a hat made out of another ice cream cone. It was spectacular. I also remember one time our family was invited to go out for coffee after our weekly bible study meeting. There were a bunch of families and we all went to a 60’s style diner- which makes sense because this was in the 60’s.

The waitress rattled off all the pie flavors and I heard apple pie. That was my favorite. My dad tried to explain that it wasn’t the same as mom’s apple pie but I didn’t actually believe him. After all, we were in a restaurant. I knew it absolutely had to be great and insisted on apple pie. Dad ordered the coconut cream. I imagine mom had herbal tea or more likely a (free) cup of hot water with lemon, and my brother would have picked green jello or ice cream.

Turns out, Dad was right. The coconut cream pie was a little taste of heaven. The apple pie looked like something my baby sister might eat. Or maybe something she had eaten! One small, pretend bite and I was not interested…. I was all ready to order my own piece of coconut cream pie but, much to my overtired surprise, Dad said no. That would be a next time idea. It was, to my 5-year-old mind, a simple yet dramatic miscarriage of justice.

The apple pie wasn’t even close to real apple pie. And Dad had eaten it And his original coconut cream slice, minus the tiny teasing bite that had forever won me over to all things coconut flavored.

The situation simply wasn’t fair. Now, I was a cute, very overtired little girl and I remember crying myself into the back seat of the car where I most likely fell asleep to be carried into bed and tucked in with dreams of apple pie justice dancing in my head.

Lesson learned. I only ever eat homemade apple pie. Preferably my mom’s. There were a bunch of reasons I discounted my dad’s advice not to order that bit of pretend apple pie. Had I listened, maybe my perfect slice of mom’s pie tonight would not have gotten me thinking about all kinds of pretend, not really great stuff I have seen business owners settle for. Or worse, buy, even after they were cautioned against it by someone they trusted. Sometimes, even that nagging voice whispering in their own busy head space.

Technology today means you can ask a free version of ChatGPT to write an ad for you. Or edit a brochure piece. Or even create a campaign. There are agencies everywhere that will help you develop a mission statement and a logo and even some funky graphics based on a questionnaire, your website, your credit card paying the invoice, and a formula of how they have always done things. After all, cookie cutters do cut cookies.

The can opener concept of creative campaigns can fill a spot. But that’s about all filler can do.

Instead, let’s chop some apples. Different sizes, and a bit of unexpected red sparkle on some of the edges. We’ll sprinkle on some cinnamon. And use some dark brown sugar- maybe a bit of maple syrup if that’s the mood- with a couple of pats of butter. We’ll make sure the crust is rolled out, thin and perfect, with just a bit of salt and a perfect blend of flakey goodness still with a texture you can sink your teeth into.

Warm out of the oven, maybe we’ll pair it with a slice of cheddar. Or it might be more of a vanilla ice cream day.

It will make you smile. And the next one won’t ever taste quite the same, but it will still be fantastically delicious.

Homemade campaigns just for you and your business. Makes your mouth water and your clients come back for seconds.