Because of all the apples we’d harvested at the u-pick, I was inspired. And admittedly a little over the top with my obsession with making an apple meal. By this I mean, using apple as an ingredient in each food. Also I also must admit, it was tasty and fun, and we now have only about a dozen apples left.
Note: I suggest if you have an abundance of apples – make applesauce of course. This was great for my son who can’t enjoy raw apples easily with his new mouth hardware. It can be swirled into yogurt, oatmeal and ice cream. And also is a great way to create moist and nutritious baked goods. This week I made apple banana bran muffins for my kids’ school snack.
Anyways… we invited our friends over for dinner, who we picked apples with. Luckily they weren’t too burned out on apples (or just too polite) to go with my theme. Over the course of a few days of planning and prepping we were ready for our apple feast. Our guests were creative and brought two wonderful sides that went perfectly. (No really. I can’t say how much I appreciate it when someone offers and actually brings something that goes with the meal, rather than just bringing something because they think they should. Your host doesn’t want extra food for that meal, unless you’re assigned. O.K. so yes, that it a pet peeve of mine.).
Here was the menu…
Mini Grilled Cheese and Sliced Apple Sandwiches on Raisin Toast
Corriander Spiced Pork Chops (Sunset mag Oct. 2011) with Applesauce (very Brady Bunch)
Apple Slaw with yogurt dressing – thanks Anne
Mixed Greens with apple slices, candied peacans and blue cheese – thanks again Anne
Apple Pie with caramel drizzle and vanilla ice cream
We started the evening with apple bobbing. This was a great activity to use those little tiny apples we picked. The kids had fun coming up with ways to get the apple (nope, the stem is cheating) and finally dunking in head first (my son had seen this in a contest at school last year).
As far as the kids were concerned they were most excited about the first course (soup and sand) and dessert course. No surprises there. I was quite happy with the pork chops (thanks Sunet and Lee for grilling) and ate more than my share. I can’t remember the last time we made them at home. But I will again. (Note: the recipe has the chops with plum chutney, which I skipped due to the applesaue)
Here’s the soup recipe because it is so easy and perfect on a chilly autumn night. I like to roast a halved butternut squash in the oven a day or two ahead, then scrape out flesh to make this soup even quicker.
(adapted from Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink and Be Merry)
This is a simple, sweet and aromatic soup that only requires a few ingredients. It can be enjoyed with a salad and bread for a nutritious lunch or dinner, or as a comforting autumn snack on a chilly day after playing outdoors.
Makes 7 cups; 7 servings
1 tablespoon expeller-pressed canola oil or other vegetable oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 pound peeled, cut cooked squash (can buy prepackaged in produce section) or 2 pounds whole butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium organic Fuji apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 (14-ounce) can organic low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup organic milk
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in squash, apples, broth, water, thyme, salt, and pepper. Heat over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring often until squash and apples are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (If not using precooked
squash, you’ll need to increase cooking time by 15 to 20 minutes.)
Spoon one-third of squash mixture into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Be careful: Mixture is hot and steam can burn when processing. Pour puree into bowl and continue processing remainder of squash mixture. Soup can be made
ahead at this point.
When ready to eat, return puree to saucepan and stir in milk. Heat through over medium heat until hot.
(Babes and Soup. Just remember many children do not like foods too
warm, so serve at room temperature for the youngest. Because this recipe has
cow’s milk, it should not be served to those under one year.)