Apple Pudding

IMG_8706We’ve picked all our apples, and have them stored in twelve large bins in the barn. Getting them in by mid-October seems to be the right time. The late ripening Jonathans’ pips have turned brown, and their flesh is beautifully tinged with pink. From the three Gala, Bramley’s Seedling & Jonathan trees we probably have 700 lbs stored. This is after weeks of eating them, and feeding gallons of windfalls to the livestock. While we give away many, the bins will safely store them for us right through March. By March the apples will have had their run. The livestock will start to get the slightly withered ones that are still left.

One year in mid-November, when the trees were still fairly young, we were away for a couple of days. Both of us working different shifts, and not home together during daylight hours. On the second day, my husband noticed that I had picked all the apples. When I came home, I thanked him for picking all the apples. Oops! Neither of us had picked any apples. We checked all around the trees, and found cores everywhere. Our local branch of the raccoons had come in and done it for us while we were asleep. We got none. Ever since, we’ve tried to get them by mid-October at the latest.

With so many apples, most of our desserts tend to be apple based. For the past several weeks I’ve been working on an apple pudding that isn’t super sweet, and works beautifully whether an all-purpose wheat or Gluten Free flour is used. It has taken awhile, simply because we can only eat so many apple puddings! Friends and family have been kind when I turn up once again with a pudding as my contribution to dinner. I must say though, no one has ever turned it down, in any of its reincarnations. We enjoy it with a little custard sauce, or some Crème Anglaise. Continue reading

Porridge

IMG_7047It may seem like a simple recipe, however, it is a reminder of how we can easily make the right choices when it comes to eating. A bowl of porridge will feed you well to make it through the morning, with a wholesome whole grain that has saved populations from starvation, and only takes a few minutes to make from scratch, and costs about 25¢ a serving, including milk & a bit of brown sugar.

My relationship with porridge (oats) started at a very early age. We had a certain pot that Dad used to make porridge in every morning. It was thick walled aluminum, a type probably not even sold today. When the handle went, he carved a new one and bolted it on. When the pot lid knob went, he carved a delightfully threatening little totem to replace it.

Every morning through our school years, Dad would get up and make a big pot of porridge for us all, even though we were all still sound asleep. It would be cooled and congealed by the time we would be eating it. But, that was breakfast. This was also at a time prior (long prior) to microwaves being a common kitchen tool for reheating. One morning Dad taught me the trick of frying leftover porridge with a bit of butter and brown sugar in a cast iron pan. Amazingly delicious. It may sound like we were “down on our luck”, but our family always took pride in being thrifty. But never to a fault.

Today the health virtues of starting our days with a bowl of large-flake, old-fashioned oats, made into porridge, has been well documented. We might now add a handful of berries, or a chopped apple & some spice, but it still is able to satisfy us well until lunch. So here’s to putting your porridge pot back on the hob, and starting your day with a great, easy, and thrifty breakfast! Continue reading

Green Pea Cakes with Apple & Fennel Salsa

IMG_6858Today, spring truly feels like it’s on our doorstep.  There are a few days in early spring, when it just feels like spring has really arrived.  Somehow in a matter of days the frogs are louder, and the birds are busier.  The horse pastures are vibrant green, while the crocii have opened up under the bursting forsythia.  The thermometer has moved into the double digits (celsius), and it feels sooo good!  To celebrate spring, and my sister’s birthday, I just felt the need to show it in food.

Just in time for St. Patrick’s, this is a very green dish, with a light, tart salsa in small mounds on top of bright green little pancakes.  I’m sure they should be called something like “Emerald Isles”.   Bonus: they work really well Gluten Free. Continue reading

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Apple

IMG_6548This was one of those nights!  Hadn’t really spent any time thinking about dinner, but my husband’s on a special diet right now, and knew that I had to put something together!  Looking in my diverse pantry, I kept seeing things that would really be good, but most of them were on the “no” list.  So using some really basic items (all of which were on the “yes” list), I pulled a really tasty soup out of a hat.  It is filling, so we were satisfied with just the soup, no side dishes, no bread.  I feel guilty eating a variety of foods when the one other person eating just has a whole long list of “no’s”.

Of course, now that I’ve made it, I know I’ll make it again. It is so easy, vegan, too, if that’s required.

I had two lovely little pumpkins from jollity Farm sitting waiting patiently for me to put them to good use.  A quick peel & chop and they were in a pot, gently simmering until soft, drained, and then mashed.

I really suggest this as a main course soup, maybe on a really cold winter’s night, before a game of scrabble or crib.IMG_6529 Continue reading