Sunday, October 24, 2010

Omi's Apple Kuchen

My friend Helen gave me her mother - in - law's recipe for apple kuchen - and when apples are abundant, I make a new batch every few days.  It's such a great recipe because the ingredients are almost always on hand, it goes together really quickly, and it is absolutely delicious!  It's fabulous by itself, decadent with some good ice cream.

Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 C. sugar ( can use less)
3 large eggs
3/4 C canola oil
pinch of salt
1 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
8 to 10 peeled Rome, Cortland, or other large good cooking apples
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 to 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Grease 9x13" pan.  Slice apples and add until pan is 2/3 full.  Add lemon juice and cinnamon. Set aside.
Beat sugar and eggs together until smooth.  Add oil and salt and beat.  Mixe in baking powder, flour and vanilla until smooth.  Spread on top of apples.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour until golden brown and apples are bubbling

Happy Eating!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Today's Smoothie

Midsummer Mixture
 Back in April I entered a Green Smoothie Challenge offered by Suzanne Seeger of Enchanted Chameleon.  The time was right for me.  After the two weeks of the challenge it stuck.  I've become a devotee of my morning drink.
The spring was the perfect time to jump into this.  The idea that I could experiment with wild greens that were coming up in my yard - dandelions, plantains, arugula, violets, raspberry canes, grape leaves, mint - made it extra fun.  And as the late spring greens became abundant at our community farm, I was well supplied with spinach, chard, kale, lettuces, collards, bok choi, beet tops, and other varieties. 
I add fruits as I have them.  I don't like to put berries in my smoothies.  I love them too much all by themselves to mix with other tastes and textures.  I don't like to eat bananas - but they're great in smoothies.  They help keep the texture even, they add sweetness when they're very ripe, and of course, they're full of good nutrients. So I almost always include those.  Mangoes,melons, pineapple, papaya, grapes, peaches, apples, plums are my other additons.
In the beginning I did feel a little hungry in the morning - even though I'd drunk almost a quart of the mixture.  I would spread it out through the morning if I could, figuring if I could make it till lunchtime, then I'd have a regular lunch.  I began to like the lightness.  And the virtue.  Don't you love to experience virtue once in a while?  If I clean the refrigerator, organize my desk, or do my exercises, I feel like I've done a really good thing for myself - and I revel in it.  For a little while.  Same with getting my day off to a good start with my morning drink.
When I've gone on vacation, or been invited out to breakfast, I've skipped the smoothies.  But I'm always happy to go back to them.  That's how I know that it's not a passing fad.
I went for a check up last week.  It was the first time in almost a year that I'd gotten on a scale.  I know that my clothes have become more comfortable, some a little too loose.  So I wasn't surprised to find out that I'd lost weight.  It has been a slow process, but I'm not in a hurry.  I'm enjoying it.
So here's what I had this morning:
   1 MacCoun Apple
   3/4 C. papaya
   1 Banana
   2 leaves of turnip greens, pulled from stems ( I find it necessary to limit these greens - they're quite peppery)
   2 + C. kale leaves pulled from stems - I mixed the varieties
   1 Tbsp. aloe juice
   2 C. water
All blended in my super duper Blendtec blender.
What do you do for yourself?  What makes you feel virtuous?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Found Day

View from our cottage deck
Holy Toledo!  Can you believe it's October, already?  I can't say I've been going full tilt.  We had a glorious two week vacation on an island in the Bay of Fundy early in September where we only followed our inclinations as they came.  Go pick berries, find rocks, sit and read, do tai chi on the deck?  What shall we eat?  Fish? Vegetables?  Freshly baked bread and cheese?  Shall I wear the black pants or the green ones?  I only have two to choose from.
But then we came home.  And all the energy from that marvelous rest has been put to use.  Appointments that had been put off,  Farmer's Market, baking and preparing  the reception for my first solo show, a day in NY going to museums, this week a fabulous high energy retreat for people who work with youth in the church.  My parents are coming for a visit this coming week and my house looks like we've been through an earthquake.  Today I was supposed to be going to another farmer's market.  So there was going to be precious little time to restore it to order.  Where is Mary Poppins when you need her?
Then yesterday I got news that our group's participation in the farmer's market was cancelled.  I feel badly for the members who had counted on this and for the way it happened - it was a bit shabby on the market's part.  But for me, I felt I'd been given the most wonderful gift - a day of my own!
I can go to the farm and pick raspberries.  I can savor making foods for my friend's 50th birthday party tomorrow (Happy Birthday, dear Stephen!), and for a block party this afternoon where I can meet my neighbors and enjoy their company, instead of feeling like I'm squeezing them in as I rush home from doing the market.  I can gently begin to create order in my home, giving thanks for the upcoming visit from my parents.

The gift of attention
 I feel blessed.  May you find blessing in this day.