My grandmother used to make my sister and I “sandwiches” of cream cheese and apple butter on what our friend Laura called “tissue bread” – wonder bread. Not only was it wonder bread, but she cut off the crusts for us – how decadent! I’m not big on wonder bread, but I did love those sammiches (they’re one of my fondest memories of my grandmother), so I have a serious soft spot for apple butter.
When I had the overabundance of apples recently, I decided that along with applesauce and apple crisp, I should probably try making apple butter. I didn’t have a go-to recipe, because I’ve never made it before, but I thought I’d try out an old reliable – Joy of Cooking. (In retrospect, this was a mistake. I love cookbooks, but sometimes a recipe with comments and ratings is more reliable. But how was I to know?) **Please see the note with the recipe – this might not have been such a mistake if I’d actually read the recipe correctly… I’m going to put this one down to half Purple-fail and half Joy-of-Cooking formatting fail.
After the applesauce extravaganza, I still had quite a few apples left (surprise, surprise… 18 lbs is hard to get through!), so one night I decided to make an apple crisp. It was a night when I had help eating it, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Ultimately, although this tasted reasonably good, it didn’t turn out at all the way I wanted it to. The biggest problem was the volume of liquid in the crisp, which I think was because I used fuji apples. (They’re sweeter and crunchier, so I think they have more water in them? How to Cook Everything gave me an apple chart, and fujis were listed as “eating apples” not “baking apples” or even “all purpose apples”, so there’s probably a reason for that – although they were great in applesauce.) (more…)
The stuffing was one of the highlights of our feast. Unfortunately, it was also one of the two most time consuming recipes we made. There were about a hundred ingredients, and they each had to be cooked separately before they could be combined and baked. (Calin says I’m a serial exaggerator. I tell him my cheerios are <—THIS BIG—>!)
This was a special treat for my very own sweetie pie on our anniversary. It’s always a challenge to find things with bacon in them (one of his very favorite foods) that I will also enjoy (not one of my very favorite foods). I bought him this cookbook, Everything Tastes Better With Bacon, for Christmas last year, and then it sat in a box for 6 months before we had our kitchen entirely put together, so this is the first recipe we’ve tried.
It might have been because I tried making this for the first time at 6:30 am on a Monday. It might have been because I used turkey bacon instead of real bacon. (I don’t cook with real bacon. It disgusts me.) It might just be because I don’t have the technique down quite right yet. But all in all, this was a relatively disappointing recipe. The pancake was delicious, but the apples and bacon were mediocre verging on not great. I love the idea, so I will probably try again, but not particularly soon. Recipe after the jump…
Well, sticking to the “one post a week” vow I made myself is proving more difficult than I expected. However, actually cooking something interesting once a week is working just fine. Of course, it’s much harder to document the process when it’s been a few weeks since you cooked something…
The second cooking adventure was a joint effort with my good friend Alimonkee, who lovingly provided her kitchen and her enthusiastic co-chef-ship. We decided to make a tasty brunch for her man, and thought scones would be an excellent addition to the menu.
There were a few added challenges, of course: A. prefers to avoid wheat in favor of spelt flour; I am almost entirely unfamiliar with her oven; and I’ve never made scones before in my life. Nothing is ever easy…