Sunday, October 3, 2010

Seasonal cooking

Fall has officially set in here in the High Country, with night time temps hovering around 40. The fall wreath has been put on the front door, and the debate about pulling out the down comforter has begun. We'll see if we can make it through the month without turning on the heat. (We're typically the last hold outs, so we ought to be able to hang in there until November 1.)

With fall comes acorn and butternut squash, the "nut man" set up down the road with all sorts of local wares (pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.), apples, pumpkin, and cabbage. We love fall, with comfort foods and hot cider. For us, this means lots of soups, apple crisp, and potato hash with sausage, cabbage, and apples. One of our new favorite soups is this acorn squash chili, though we've substituted butternut squash sometimes and it's just as good. We threw some together last night for us and made another batch to share in our supper club.

My grandmother's recipe for apple crisp has been a hit at small group, and it's fabulous with vanilla icecream. It's super easy and comes together in a flash, so I thought I'd share the recipe. We also love these pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes, although we'd use something less labor intensive for the frosting.

Apple Crisp (from the Betty Crocker cookbook)

4 c apples, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c water
3/4 c flour
1 c sugar
1/3 c butter or margarine

Place in buttered 10x6x2 baking dish 4 cups of sliced, peeled apples. (Usually 4-6 apples, depending on size.) Sprinkle with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sale, and 1/4 c water. Rub together (use your hands) in separate bowl 3/4 c sifted all purpose flour, 1 c sugar, and 1/3 c butter or margarine. Mixture should be a coarse sandy texture. Drop mixture over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Topping should be crunchy. (We sometimes have to use the broiler to help it along.) Serve warm with cream, ice cream, or plain. Serves 6-10.

I'd love to hear about your seasonal culinary adventures, so please leave a comment or two!

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