Monthly Archives: October 2009

apples all over

last weekend we were frustrated. our plan to go apple-picking at an orchard/winery west of Boston went awry, confounded by a late start and then atrocious traffic at the tolls of the Massachusetts Turnpike. (i wished i could have heard all the cursing from within the cars and trucks trying to get out!
i’m glad my kids didn’t hear my internal cursing!)
with ten minutes to spare we were not allowed to go apple-picking, so we decided to skedaddle out of there (with a few bottles of hard sparkling apple cider and one of mead–finally, i get to taste the honey wine i’ve often read about!) and went to another orchard…to buy a bag of Golden Delicious.
tarte Tatin, based on Dorie Greenspan's
just perfect for baking tarte Tatin, based on a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking” book.
store-bought all-butter puff pastry
i wouldn’t have done it, i would have opted for an easy apple cake (you know, chop up the apples, toss into a one-bowl batter), if not for my itch to try the puff pastry that Ms. Greenspan recommended: she said it’s so good, that she stopped making puff pastry herself! wow, that i just had to find.
Dufour puff pastry
it unfolded into an approximately 9 by 13 inch rectangle of dough, which i neglected to trim when i set it atop the caramelized apples. i just literally “cut corners” and tucked them willy-nilly all over the pan.
puff pastry on top

a slice of tarte Tatin
well, it didn’t really matter that much, because the tart had to be flipped. i almost broke my wrist, i swear that cast-iron pan is sooo heavy. but all’s well that ends well. the puff pastry? i’ve been converted! :grandma: i will never buy the Other Brand which just turns out so nasty, greasy, gritty almost. Dufour’s is flaky, buttery, tender. i don’t have to sweat over the multiple folding and re-folding and back-and-forth trips to the refrigerator anymore, yippee-yehey!!
apple all over
…just a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a hot steaming cup of coffee, and whooosh, a heavenly treat for a crisp Fall afternoon.
or is it winter already? it sure feels like it, in this corner of the world.
maybe you’d like to try myFrench apple tart? apple cake? a cakey-style Tarte tatin? or our old standby, with Calvados?

a new leaf

debated whether to change out of my soaked clothes into a new outfit, or just to slip back into my flannel pajammies and fluffy bathrobe…the flannels won, and i’m just drying out the old outfit.
it was a day just like today, pouring rain with flashes of lightning and grumbling thunder, when i attended what i call a “diabetic convention” (really a community outreach program from our hospital)–it was a Saturday early morning and no it wasn’t the free breakfast and lunch that made me bounce out of bed. it was a grim determination to finally confront the demon diagnosis from three years ago. i wanted to learn more about my disease instead of just always pushing it down into the dark recesses of my mind.
i am really still mournful about it, but i learned so much about carbs, and diet, and how insulin works and how my organs will fail if i don’t attend to my body. i have mostly banished Ms.Information and Ms.Conceptions and Ms.Givings from my awareness; sadly i have turned into a rabid food label reader, a fervent new member of the food police force. i hope that my kids and husband won’t get too resentful and even actually benefit from the vigilance i’m trying hard to maintain. kids, i am also always donating to diabetic research requests (kahit piso piso lang). i am so sorry but it’s hereditary, and i want diabetes gone in your lifetime.
healthy tasty breads
part of our new regimen is the search for delicious multigrain stuff, and these loaves from Nature’s Pride fit the bill exactly. we spread almond and peanut butters and have it for breakfast, and the #2son specifically requested a sandwich with turkey breast slices for his school lunch. that’s phenomenal! he’s more of a subway rolls kind of guy.
success, what? just disregard all that chocolate in my categories.

for you

chocolate cake, Cook's
this slice is for you…
who’s all ears when friends pour their hearts out
yet somehow always alone when yours is shattering into pieces all around
who takes care of everybody when they’re sick, and buys them treats
and proffers hugs freely when they’re anxious and tired
yet is content with the flat pillow and the downy covers on cold nights
the crumb and the batter and the washing up
the sticky greasy pans
it’s there in the hot blast from the clunker oven
there in the singed edges of lashes and brows

the company of cake

chocolate cake, Cook's
recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. multiple steps, a sinkful of washing, at least three bowls, three kinds of chocolate, loads of butter, thick and lush icing.