Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Still in love with pumpkins this fall! This was just window light on my much smaller than normal pumpkin collection. I have decided to scale back so I can cook all the ones I buy this year. It's tough with 300 lbs. of winter squash, but I think I can manage 100 lbs.!!!
Monday, October 04, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
I know. If you ask a five-year-old if she would rather go nuts jumping on inflatables and eat cake with 20 screaming kids, or go pick apples with the folks ... I know. This officially makes me the Fun Nazi, right? Or does it?
I guess if you are five this is like a dream come true, right? But, where I stand, it feels like an obscene amount of overload. I don't ever remember twenty — TWENTY — birthday presents or a huge party for ME with my whole class in attendance, not even when I turned 40. (I just quietly drank good red wine for that one.) Certainly nothing on that scale every year when I was a kid. I turned out fine. Opinions vary, but overall ... just fine.
So, I have my reasons. And I say ... let's go pick apples. Do a hay ride. Be outdoors where Mommy can hear herself think. And meet farmers who grow good food and have a laugh in the sun, play hide and seek in the hay bale maze. And just be.
Did I mention apples? Because if you pick the apples, then you need to make this Best Applesauce Ever. It's better than cake with blue sugar-and-shortening frosting. Maybe better than presents.
Besides, there's another birthday party at a similar place in a couple weeks, smaller party, and for a really good friend. I might even be in the moonwalk that time. Look out kids, it'll be like an earthquake in that thing when I bounce.
Best Applesauce Ever
8 large Gala apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1/2 cup dry red wine such as Temparillo or Cabernet
1 large sprig rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. Ceylon (soft) cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Szechwan peppercorns
1/2 tsp, salt
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
Put the ingredients except sugar in a large pot and cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a nice simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring once in a while to get all the apples cooked. Use a stick blender and puree to desired texture. I like chunky. Mix in sugar gradually, stopping when it hits just the right amount of sweetness.