Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Apple Sauce

The Recipe:

2 1/2 lbs. apples (see The Story for ideas)
1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick or 1/2-2 tsp cinnamon

Peel, core, and chop apples. In non-reactive saucepan, mix the juice of the lemon (about 2 Tbsp) and the sugar with the apples; let sit until they exude at least 1/2 cup of juice, about 20 minutes. Add the cinnamon stick or your desired amount of cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick and let cool. Keeps in the fridge for at least a week.

The Story:

In conversation recently, a friend commented that she didn't know how to make apple sauce. It's the easiest thing; everyone should know how to do it- especially this time of year, when Terhune and Battleview are loaded with fresh local apples.

This is based on Rose Levy Berenbaum's recipe in her book Rose's Celebrations. She likes hers very smooth and does not peel or core the apples first; instead, she uses fewer apples, cooks them longer and then puts the whole thing through a strainer. Not my favorite way, but if it is yours it's certainly easy to do.

Apple choice is pretty wide here. Any good eating or baking apple will do. I often combine types, getting some that do and some that don't hold their shape to create a variety of textures. Also, the more you cook and the smaller the chopped apples are, the softer the sauce will be, so if you like chunky sauce go short in time and big in chopped size. Macoun, Stayman Winesap and Ginger Gold all make a good sauce, especially when mixed together.

Start with less cinnamon than you think you'll want. You can always add more later. Oh, and that stick that you took out? If you'll be making some hot cider in the next day or two, just hang on to it and add it to the mug. (Of course you bought some cider when you went to the farm for the apples!)

A beautiful addition to this is about 1/2 cup dried cranberries, added when the sauce comes up to a boil. They add some color and a little textural interest too.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's not too soon to talk turkey

Lee's Turkey Farm is taking orders for Thanksgiving birds.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Current Cookbook Craze: October edition

I borrowed two cookbooks from the library that I love so much, I'm considering buying them:

Fresh Food Fast by Peter Berely: Pretty pictures (just look at the cover!) and complete seasonal menus line up with great food very nicely. So far, I've made a Wild Mushroom Fricassee over Farro (spelt), and a Thai-style Tofu* and Veggies in Coconut broth, both of which were big hits. Am trying a few more this week.

A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell: Once again, I'm swayed by lovely photography. The recipes tend to be very simple and often something you could've come up with if you thought about it long enough, but since they're here and nicely put together, pick up the book. There's a section of cold and dessert soups, neither of which I care for, but the others are lovely. Many are vegan or easily converted, and helpfully noted too.

*I think there's an overreliance on soy foods and soy-based meat replacements in vegetarian cooking, so I rarely cook with them. And, let's face it, even if there wasn't some principle I could fall back on I wouldn't use tofu much anyway, because honestly, I hate tofu. I really do. I've tried it prepared in dozens of ways and the best I can usually say for a tofu recipe is that it didn't make me gag. This dish I actually liked, so that should tell you something about how good this book is.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I just bought...

Twenty-five pounds of apples in the last three days.

Looks like it's pie time!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Hoofin' a mile

Mea Kaemmerlen had a nice piece in yesterday's paper about farm animals- both the good, homey image we have from childhood and petting zoos, and the abbhoration of the factory farm system. Give it a read.