Saturday, September 25, 2010

Apple Crisp

I really should be posting the recipe for Peach Cream Pie. It is my best pie and I promised you the recipe back in the spring. The peaches are nearly gone now and I am not making that pie until Thursday, so, I'm sorry, you'll need to wait a while longer.

We are, however, smack in the middle of Apple Season. We were invited tonight to the beautiful home of my Genetically Perfect friends Brian and Jen. She made a very delicious meal of white chili, cornbread and fruit pizza. It really hit the spot on this, one of the first fall-like days. I offered to bring an apple crisp, since they are in season and I figured it would be a good ending to such a wonderful autumn meal.

When I was a school-aged girl and my mother went back to work, I was sometimes in charge of making the evening meal on Tuesdays, when Mom had to work until 6:00 PM. We didn't often have desserts for our simiple family meals, but I found this recipe of Mom's easy to manage and found the apples themselves on the tree in our backyard. I frequently made this dish to close the meal and today, my own family likes it alot, too. I didn't find any Granny Smith apples at the orchard across the river from my house, which is the type of apple I like to use for baking. I chose the tartest apples they had on hand, which was MacIntosh, and truly I didn't find the results all that favorable. I should have adjusted the sugar and cinnamon for this sweeter apple, but it would have been just guesswork without knowing how they tasted baked. I find this dish made with Granny Smiths to be apple-ier and with a crisper taste.

Please make this this fall:

Apple Crisp

6 c. peeled, sliced apples
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
1 c. flour
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 t. baking soda

Mix apples, white sugar and cinnamon (to taste - my guess is that I use about 3/4 t.) and pour into a baking dish. In a bowl, make crumbs of butter, brown sugar, oatmeal, flour and soda. Spread over the apples. Bake at 350 until apples are tender, about 30-45 minutes.

Here's a picture of the finished product, but I notice it's not the most interesting thing in the photo next to Jen's glamorous fruit pizza.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Squirrel Behavior

Perusing the fruits of my summer labor...

We should be set with green beans, tomato juice, salsa, grape juice, pickles, grape jelly, tomato chutney...

...also applesauce and a couple of loaves of zucchini bread. Those foil packages at the bottom are coffee beans from Michael's annual trips to the Dominican Republic.

And here are the meals I've made in advance, ready to pull out on busy days of teaching piano lessons. The freezer boxes have shredded zucchini in them so that I can make fresh loaves of zucchini bread, which is a favorite quick breakfast.

This is wealth.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bluegill Parmesan

So today I (with the family) dug about 20 gallons of potatoes, picked tomatoes, did four loads of laundry, defrosted and organized the deep freeze, ticked Mike off by plugging up the garbage disposal, made three casseroles for the freezer and served the family Bluegill Parmesan from our fishing excursion yesterday. It was, for certain, a Labor Day.

My dad is an avid fisherman. Always has been. But, until this summer, I've never, EVER been fishing. Two weeks ago, we went with a church group to a nearby lake. Our hostess LOVES to fish and, when I told her I never had, she set about to rectify that situation. I caught three fish, all about the size of my thumb. In fact, I caught one of them twice. How do I know this, you may ask? Because my buddy/ teacher saw the worm from the last time still in his mouth! She took a video of me screaming and holding that tiny Fish Stick up and posted it on Facebook. If I were savvy enough to figure it out, I'd put it on this post. Stay tuned.

Yesterday, we invited Dad over for popcorn and dozing in front of the television, a Sunday afternoon tradition - both in my current home and my home-of-origin. I told him about my first attempt at my newest hobby and before I knew it he and my family of five were all standing on the shore of a friend's stocked pond with lines in the water. We threw back the bass and kept the bluegill. I was excited because I had a wonderful recipe which I hadn't been able to use for several years. We had 18 fish total, which Dad filleted and shared with us. I turned half of it into Bluegill Parmesan for tonight's dinner and flash froze the rest and threw them into a freezer bag to keep for later.

Here's the recipe:

Bluegill Parmesan
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T minced fresh parsley
1 t. salt
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried basil
1/4 t. pepper
1 pound bluegill fillets (perch or crappie may be substituted)

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasonings in shallow bowl. Dip fillets in melted butter then coat with crumb mixture. Place in a baking dish and bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20 minutes, when fish flakes easily with a fork.