Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hello, Autumn

An early warm spell this Spring spelled near disaster for the Midwest apple crop. There aren't as many varieties to choose from this year, but there still seems to be an abundance at my farmer's market. And I can't imagine autumn without apple crisp. This recipe has been in my family for years and no one makes it better than my mom. Thanks, Mom! This recipe easily feeds six people with some left over for breakfast the next morning.

Apple Crisp

In a mixing bowl combine 8-10 Apples (try Jonagold and Honey Crisp), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle 1/4 cup water and one tablespoon lemon juice over the apples, or add 1/4 cup apple cider to the apples and toss to combine.

In a separate bowl mix together:

1/2 C. granulated sugar

1/2 C. light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 t. nutmeg

1 t. cinnamon

Pinch of Kosher or Sea Salt

1/2 C. quick oats

3 C. all-purpose flour

Cut in one stick of chilled, cubed butter until the butter is well incorporated and crumbly. Tip the apples into an 8x8 inch baking dish and sprinkle crumb mixture on top, making sure the apples are completely covered.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Crisp will keep in the refrigerator for three days. You can reheat leftovers in the microwave or in a 350 oven til warmed through. Or, better yet, eat it cold from the fridge — so tasty!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harvest time

Today was the first fall day with that certain chill in the air. The cool breeze that lets me know my fair city may soon look like this…

Time to kick my autumn harvest into high gear.  The miniature urban landscape that is my back porch has just enough space to turn into a lush container garden each spring. It may not be the back forty, but it’ll do. This year my tiny oasis of green produced over 30 varieties of herbs and flowers and I’ve reaped the rewards of daily watering and care since early May.  But that chill in the air signals the last hurrah of fresh parsley on the back porch and pesto at a moment's notice.

A few pics of the Big Red Oven autumn harvest. Recipes to follow…

Italian parsley, basil & mint

bay, perfect for soups
and stews

lemon verbena combined with
mint makes great tea