Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Applesauce Story

It started with an email from Nadine.

Dear Siblings,
Don't know if you felt turned off to pears like I did, after seemingly endless jars of canned pears and pears sauce when we lived on Curtis Lane. Up until last year when I rediscovered how good pears could be, because Finn loved them as a finger food, one pear a year was good enough for me.
I did take, however, Mommy's ricer for making apple sauce.

This year our peach crop was decimated by an April snow, but we had a bumper pear crop. What to do with them all? Pear sauce. A little sugar and cinnamon  - delight!

Then I responded
I guess I don’t remember being as overwhelmed with pears as you.  I remember Mommy’s applesauce and until I had store bought applesauce never realized all applesauce wasn’t red.

Then there was the texts

So I did do the experiment.  I bought a bag of Empire apples since they were the apples with the reddest skins and cooked them with the skins and then put them through the food mill with the skins.  I didn't include the seeds because I used an apple corer and divider.  This is the result.

This is the applesauce that I make from the apples on our tree that are mostly greenish click here to see them.

Guess that was how Mommy always made reddish applesauce.

No apples this year and looking at the link above the last time we didn't have apples was 2011. Wonder if the tree takes a break every 5 years.

P.S.  I bought 3 lbs of apples for $2.99 and got 26 oz of applesauce.  I could buy a 46 oz jar of Wegmans Natural Applesauce, No Sugar for $2.49.  The moral of the story is - it doesn't pay to make applesauce unless you pick the apples off your tree or you're doing an experiment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuscan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Tuscan Roasted Cauliflower Soup

1/2 tsp  Wegmans Tuscan Seasoning Shak'r **
1 Tbsp  Wegmans Pure Olive Oil
2 pkgs (12 oz each)  Food You Feel Good About Cleaned & Cut Cauliflower Florets
Salt and pepper to taste
1 carton (32 oz)  Food You Feel Good About Vegetable Culinary Stock
Italian Classics Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Cheese Shop), for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add Tuscan seasoning and olive oil to large bowl; mix to combine. Add cauliflower florets; toss to coat.

Arrange cauliflower in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast 35-45 min, turning halfway through, until browned and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add roasted cauliflower and vegetable stock to stockpot. Bring to a boil on HIGH; reduce heat to LOW; simmer 5-8 min until cauliflower is soft.

Puree soup to desired texture; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with grated cheese.

from Wegmans

** I didn't have the seasoning but I found this recipe and made my own

Tuscan Seasoning
2/3 cup oregano
6 Tbsp kosher salt
5 Tbsp paprika
4 Tbsp ground fennel
4 Tbsp garlic powder
3 1/2 Tbsp dried minced onion
2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp sugar

Note:  I made 1/4 of the seasoning recipe and it made a lot.  I didn't have fennel so I left it out and roughly did the 1/4 of each ingredient and it came out fine.  The cauliflower was so good we had to have lots of samples.  Good thing I had a huge cauliflower.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Marriott's Fairway Villas - Oct 5-10

On Wednesday we left home for Absecon, NJ and the first leg of our vacation at Marriott Fairway Villa.  It seems like we just got home from a vacation.  Oh yes, we did only 2 weeks ago and it took me that long to get everything unpacked, washed, organized and packed again.  Hurricane Matthew was on it's way but I believed that we wouldn't get involved with it based on the timing of out stays.

We were scheduled for an owner's update on Thursday, which in "timeshare" oops, I mean "vacation club ownership" language means a sales pitch.  Darn, there was a yoga class at 9:30 but our meeting was at 10:00.  Then about 9:45 we get a call about changing our appointment to Friday since the sales person was sick but to compensate we'll get an extra $25 on our $100 giftcard for attending the presentation.

We decided to take a ride to Atlantic City which was only 1/2 hour away but we didn't even get out of the car.  We did drive down to see the Absecon Lighthouse
which is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey.  We can cross that off our bucket list.  We decided we would have an evergreen bucket list which would be developed as we saw things we didn't know we wanted to see.

From there we went to Historic Smithville and boutght the most delicious cheeses at Magnificos. Cajun Crab and Horseradish Cheddar.  Back at the resort we went to wine and cheese where we didn't talk to anyone and no one talked to us either but there was good music.

On Friday we met with Michael, who stood us up the day before because he was sick and he really did have a bad cold.  We spent about 3 hours with him and almost bought some more points but that night I texted him and said we weren't interested.  He wanted to talk to us some more so we went back to see him the next day.

We went back to Smithville for a late lunch at Fred & Ethels.  We both got beers and chicken sandwiches and took half of it back in takeout containers.  We played on the putting green for awhile and Larry then hit a bucket of balls at the driving range.

On Saturday, we saw Michael and listened to an extended sales pitch on why we needed to buy $20,000 for an extra 2000 VCP.  He told us again to think it over.  When we left, thanks to Hurricane Matthew, it was raining and rained most of the day.

The next day was a little chilly and we went to the Edwin P Forsythe Wildflife Santuary for a walk and to get some fresh air after a day indoors.   I also texted Michael and told him we definitely were not interested.  AMEN!!

On Monday it was off to Williamsburg, VA.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Apple Cake

Dad's Apple Cake
Here is the story and recipe Sue Homsey included in the book At the Heart of It All: Sharing the Recipes, the Stories & the Love of Our Market(Cohber Press, $22.95):
" 'Dad' was my father-in-law, a proud member of an Irondequoit market gardening family. He was happy when I married in, and proudly showed me where his dad's stand was here at the Rochester Public Market. Dad would always double the topping for this cake, whereas I leave it off. If you can find Cameo apples, buy them! If not, any nice, firm, cooking apple will work."
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt to taste
1 cup sour cream
2 cups finely chopped apples
½ cup chopped nuts
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating after each addition.
In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
Stir in apples. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch pan.
For the topping, combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl.
Sprinkle the topping over the cake batter.
Bake until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Makes 12 servings.