Apple season is still upon us. Not only are apples in season in the local orchards but also in our kitchen. To my way of thinking, there are endless possibilities when it comes to apples. Then you also have so many options of what types of apples you’ll be using for eating fresh, making applesauce, or baking.
Probably the most popular kind of apple for eating in our community is the Honey Crisp. Their crispy sweetness with a slight tang is simply hard to beat. Not only are they delicious fresh but also when turned into applesauce. It’s impressive how little or no sugar is needed with these sweet apples. Applesauce can also be used as a replacement for half your cooking oil when baking bars or cakes. Now you’re only consuming half the amount of fat and are eating apples instead. Amazing!
If you are not an applesauce fan you may want to try apple pie filling. I always like to keep some on hand, not only does it make delicious cobblers and pies during winter months but is also delicious eaten along side a hot dish, just like applesauce. I know it does sound a bit odd but you may be surprised how good it is if you give it a try. That reminds me of a rule my dad had when I was a little girl “Don’t say you don’t like it, wait until you try it!”
Take it or leave it, eat your apples how you like them.
Something I had never imagined was shredded apples blending well with ground burger. That is until I stumbled upon a recipe for an apple sausage ring. I knew I had to try it. And sure enough it proved to be an impressive dish that I’ve made numerous times for Sunday noon guests. I’ve discovered that it seems to work well to make two of them while I’m at it. Then pop one in the freezer for later use. Filling the center with scrambled eggs makes for an eye-catching dish that is not difficult to make.
Undoubtedly the healthiest way to eat apples is simply the way God made them: fresh from the tree. We have a little hand cranked slicer that cuts the apples into spiral rings which is quite impressive to Austin and Julia. They love eating them with dip or peanut butter. And, yes, they prefer to eat them without peelings. Gulp. This mother thought her family would definitely eat their peelings loaded with nutrients that we so much need. Well, some things don’t always fall into place like you would like, right? Sometimes we do a little compromise, I’ll tell them: “Okay, you don’t have to eat all your peelings, but how about some of them so you learn to like them?”
Perhaps our very favorite way of eating apples is in old-fashioned apple dumplings. These are delicious with almost any type of apple with yellow delicious being one of our favorites. While most folks will most likely use apple dumplings as a dessert at our house it is considered to be a main dish. Sometimes we will have meat of some kind served with it, but not always. In my way of thinking it is topped off when eaten with ice cream or milk.
APPLE VENISON RING
2 pounds venison or sausage
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup grated apples
1 1/2 cups crushed crackers
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
Line a ring mold with plastic wrap. Combine all ingredients and press firmly into mold. Chill several hours.
Unmold onto a greased baking sheet with rimmed edges. Remove plastic wrap.
Bake at 350 for one hour.
Transfer onto lettuce lined serving platter and fill with scrambled eggs if desired.
Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at Gloria Yoder, 10568 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish go to www.amish365.com.
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