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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's cooking!!

Ashley sent pictures up of the twins & if only I knew how to get them posted,I would!!! I'll be heading down pretty soon!! THEY ARE ADORABLE!!!!!
It's apple time,one of my favorite seasons!!! Royal Gala is my current choice for a good eating apple, along with Cortlands to eat & bake with. There are so many varieties out there now & I've tried nearly all!! Ginger Golds & Crispins are a couple more favorites. When the children were home, I would make huge batches of applesauce to freeze.We liked it chunky with brown sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg-Yum. I haven't made any sauce yet this year but I have been baking with apples. The traditional Apple Crisp with a crisp,sweet topping has showed up on our table a few times. We had Apple Brown Betty at a friends home. Always,always gotta make the first Fall pie with apples!! This year I tried a Rustic Caramel Apple Tart & an Upsidedown Apple Cake-All Good!!!
Do you have those little traditions in your home that bring a bit of sweetness to family life??? All the many tiny threads of shared memories keep our hearts sewed together.It's the "breaking of bread,the drinking of wine"; the acts of daily communion keeping us a part of one another. In the photograph album of my heart I can see their faces & hear their laughter.
I see myself with my Mom & siblings going down to our 20 acre apple orchard. The gray & red Ford tractor towing the little wagon with us in it down the road. My Dad worked the night shift then, so during the day he would prune,then after supper we would all go down & clear the prunings away. In the Fall, we would all be filling our apple crates,setting them near the center row to hoist on the trailer. Cool,crisp air,the delicious scent ot Autumn filling my senses, while energetic work with laughter filled my soul.
As a new bride,I had a fridge which was a side by side, I would allocate one shelf to be filled with my Autumn treasure. I would simmer my applesauce, the air redolent with it's sweet spicy goodness, then fill my containers to cool before placing them in the freezer. This was a task I always looked forward to doing!
As our family grew, our children would help in the work. I tried to make it fun, festive, that they might associate pleasant things with working together for a common goal we would all find future delight in. I would make up little games or we would sing,sometimes, listening to a story.For me,now, it was not just the task of preserving food, but preserving love....
I hope you get a chance to make those memory ties with your family, for love & honest work sweeten any recipe. Time seems to run on swift feet,but when I bite into an apple or take that first spoonful of Crisp, time seems to stand still, for just a moment, as I see the smiles & hear the laughter once again in the sweet room of my memory.
Here's my All-Time Favorite Apple Crisp:
This recipe is just for 2,I usually double it!!
2 med.tart cooking apples,pared & sliced (about 2 c.) My Tip: If apples aren't tart,sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice.
2 Tb. water
3 Tb. flour
2 Tb. sugar
2 Tb. butter,softened
1/4 tsp. cinnamon ( I like it heaping!!!)

Heat oven to 350.
Divide apples between two 10 oz. custard dishes. Sprinkle water over apple slices.
Mix flour sugar,butter & cinnamon with a fork till crumbly,Sprinkle over apples.
Bake uncovered until topping is light golden brown & apples are tender,25 to 30 minutes.
My Tip: Use a fork to test if apples are soft.
Here's another secret-desserts taste better made small in their own dish!! And they look cute!!!
Here's another thing that's good to know-Don't store apples & carrots next to each other.Apples give off a gas that turns carrots bitter tasting. If you want your carrots to stay sweet,keep them apart!!!

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