For me, one of the best things about roast turkey for Thanksgiving is having leftovers. So after we enjoy succulent slices of turkey smothered in gravy, I completely bone the rest of the turkey by removing gristle from the leg and all the meat from the wings. I remember to pluck the tender morsels from the back. Then I place the bones and turkey frame in a large pot to make soup. Using a chef's knife and cutting board, I dice, pack, and label the turkey.
Finally, I decide what to freeze and what to keep in the refrigerator for sandwiches, soup, and my favorite casserole, "Deep-Dish Turkey with Almonds." Where did I find the recipe? In my cookbook, Mealtime Magic: Delicious Dinners in Half the Time. Enjoy and have a happy Thanksgiving!
I read a question last week that I would like to answer: “Why bake a pumpkin when you can buy it canned?” True, you can buy canned pumpkin that is adequate, but like other food, there’s nothing like fresh. I bake pumpkin for the flavor, texture, and aroma. Can’t compare with canned.
Pumpkins grown for baking are small. Their pulp is denser and less stringy than bigger pumpkins. It’s well worth growing or buying a baking pumpkin for pie, bread, and other pumpkin treats!
How to Bake a Pumpkin
All you need: 1 pumpkin, baking variety
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Follow these steps.
Our apple tree produced more apples this year than ever. My husband, Steve, had picked a bucketful in October and stored it in the garage, a nice cool place since the weather has changed. It's a little late for apple season now. The grocery store has them marked down, a perfect time to buy and prepare apples.
Steve and I worked together, beginning right after breakfast this morning, Saturday, as we listened to the news on the radio. Since we don't spray our tree, the golden delicious apples have spots. However, scrubbing lightly with a vegetable brush revealed a nearly flawless golden peel. The spots remind me of the Joni Mitchell song, "Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees--please!" The apples cleaned up so nicely, we decided to core only, not to pare, before slicing. We had enough for one apple crisp (which I baked right away) and two containers to store in the deep freeze. I added a few tablespoons of lemon juice and a few tablespoons of sugar to the apples before freezing.
I relax, thinking about how time-consuming part of making apple crisp or pie is complete. One day in winter, I will pull a container of apples out of the deep freeze. I'll mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter--streusel crumbs for an apple crisp, or flour, salt, and butter for a pie crust. Then I'll add the apple filling, remembering the beautiful, sunny autumn day in early November when we prepared the apples from our very own tree.
Enjoy this recipe for apple crisp, which reminds Steve of the one his mother, Velma, made when he was growing up.
(Nearly) Velma's Apple Crisp
6 medium-sized golden delicious or other apples good for cooking
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup white flour OR 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and core apples but do not ; cut in eighths. Place in an 8x8-inch glass pan or 2-quart casserole. Add lemon juice and water. Measure flour, brown sugar, butter or margarine, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a medium bowl. Mix with a pastry blender or cut with 2 knives until mixture resembles meal. Pour over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes or until apples are tender and crumbs are lightly browned. Good served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yield: 6 servings
Apples are my favorite fruit. Sweet and crisp eaten fresh, apples are versatile for cooking and baking. It really matters what variety of apple you use. According to PickYourOwn.org, "Sweeter and softer apples make the best applesauce (like Gala), harder, drier apples are often used for baking and storing (like Rome and Arkansas Black), and tarter, more crisp and juicier apples are often eaten fresh (like Honeycrisp)." They highly recommend Gala or Fuji apples for sauce. Varieties rated "Very Good" for applesauce are Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Jonalicious, Jonagold, Mutsu (also called Crispin), Cameo, Melrose, and Jazz. Although this website rates Granny Smith as average for applesauce, I've always liked this tart apple for sauce and pies.
We planted a Golden Delicious apple tree years ago, which is finally bringing a good harvest. Making applesauce isn't hard, and it smells great! Cinnamon adds a spicy sweet taste, perfect for autumn. Enjoy!