Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Abundance Of Apples!

One of the glorious things about fall is the abundance of apples. There are just so many things you can do with apples; cook, bake, make yummy drinks and craft to name a few. Apples have been the long standing symbol of good health. We've all heard the expression "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". Did you ever wonder why though? Check out this list of 9 reasons on Health benefits of apples

There are alot of other expressions that use the word apple also such as, an apple for the teacher, Adam's apple, apple of my eye, as American as apple pie, one bad apple spoils the whole bunch, The Big Apple, apples to apples, apples to oranges,don't upset the apple cart, she'll be apples, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, polish the apples(I had to look this one up. It means: Someone who polishes the apples with someone, tries to get into that person's favor), and my favorite, in apple pie order, meaning in perfect order, well organized. It is said that this expression originated with the housewives of New England as they cut their apples in even slices. Then they filled their pie pans with them in an organized way, row after row. They loved to have everything in its place.

 Last evening I mentioned to my husband that I had not made his favorite apple crisp yet this year. His eyes lit up and I knew right then and there I had better get making it. I received this recipe more than 25 years ago from a woman I lived across the hall from in my very first apartment. I have changed it a little over the years and I have to say it is scrumptious. Here is what is left of it this morning(although DH did take a big piece to work).

Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 c. sugar, 4T. flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsps. vanilla, 2T.butter,7-8 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced.
Mix together well the  sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, vanilla,butter and the apples. Let sit. Meanwhile in a separate bowl mix together the following ingredients for the batter: 1 1/2 c. flour, 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1 1/2 tsps. baking powder,3/4 tsp. salt, 6T . butter and 3 eggs. Grease well  with shortening a 9X13 baking dish. Pour the apple mixture after you have stirred it well  a second time into the pan. Spread batter mix evenly over top of apple mix. Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown about 25-35 minutes. Yummy!

In an earlier post entitled Fresh Apple Cake, I printed a recipe for a delicious apple cake with cream cheese frosting. Be sure to check that one out too.When I taught cub scouts years ago the boys made applesauce from a recipe I found in The Daily Star newspaper. It is made in the crockpot and will fill your home with the best  autumny aroma. Here's the original printed recipe I actually sent home with the boys after they made it. I can't believe it survived all these years in the cupboard. You can click the picture of the recipe to make it bigger so as to read better.

Growing up we didn't get many store bought treats. My mom was excellent at making something out of nothing and coming up with treats for us that didn't cost alot of money. One treat I remember well was her baked apples.Here is her recipe.
Clean and core apple. Place apple in pan and add pat of butter to center. Pack with brown sugar(about2 TBPS.) Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Cook in oven at 350 degrees till apple is soft or it shrinks and collapses about 1/2 hour.

Another recipe I really like is red hot apple cider. Simply take 1 gallon of cider and place in a crockpot on low. Add 1/2 cup red hot candies.You can adjust the amount of candies to taste.  Stir till candies melt. Serve when desired warmth is reached. We make this for parties and at Thanksgiving. It makes the house smell delightful and it really gives the cider a red festive color.

I have a zillion other apple recipes but I'll save them for another time .

Here are some of my favorite pictures of ways to decorate with apples.

Here are a few of my favorite apple websites.

Did you know?

• October is National Apple Month.

• According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest known apple weighed 3.2 pounds. The world’s longest apple peel, 172 feet 4 inches long, was carved by Kathy Wafler Madison on October 16, 1976.

• Twenty-five percent of an apple’s volume is air. That is why it floats.

• More than 7,500 varieties of apples are grown around the world. China grows 41 percent of all apples, making it the leading producer of apples in the world. The United States is the second largest apple producer. The states of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, and Washington are the biggest producers in the United States.

• President John Adams drank a pitcher of apple cider every morning and credited it for his long life. He died at the age of 90.

The average person eats 65 apples per year.

Apple trees don't bear their first fruit until they are four or five years old.

It requires about 36 apples to produce one gallon of apple cider.

Johnny Appleseed was the nickname for John Chapman, a kind and generous American pioneer born in 1774 who planted apple seeds in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

Three apple tools I love!

So how do you like them apples???