Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Bounty

There's a co-op of farms near my university that J and I went to with her mom.
They're selling gobs of apples and also italian prunes.

Prune size comparison
Prunes as compared to a granny smith apple belonging to a housemate.

Also, huge "Flemish Princess" pears.
Pears in a bag
I'm going to bake with these because there's no way I could eat one in one day.

I have some big plans for my prunes and pears - slow cookers and ovens.

Pear size comparison
The same granny smith apple was used in all photos.
 I made applesauce from my housemate's slowly-going-off gravenstein apples and some other apples I scrounged from around my kitchen, which I'm not posting here for three reasons.

Homemade applesauce
1. Applesauce recipes, aside from being ridiculously simple, are a dime a dozen on the internet and in cookbooks. I used a different housemate's crock pot, cut a bunch of apples into it, poured a little apple cider because it kept seeming too dry, sprinkled in a little cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg (to taste, but start very small), and sweetened with honey as I went along.

Applesauce2. I did not use a recipe, and I didn't write down what I was doing.

3. I didn't take any pictures of the process.

 If you want a recipe, just type "crock pot applesauce" into your search engine of choice and pick one that has ingredients you have.

I suppose I have big plans for my apples, but I just got itty bitty ones so I can eat them raw the way I like. It's not as difficult as it sounds, but suffice to say that I have a complicated-to-explain-but-easy-to-do method for eating fresh apples that doesn't work well on normal American-sized apples. I have to buy the bags of tiny apples at the store for it to work. And I eat all my apples that way if I don't bake them, so it doesn't really as a big plan.

Apple size comparison
The red apple is one that I picked; the green one is the same one from earlier. I like tiny apples, okay?

Right now, I'm thinking about a carrot soup, prune butter (in the crock pot, no peeling required), pear bread, and olive oil bread (I just need a recipe for these last two).

Also, I'd like to elaborate on the prune/plum thing. I always thought prunes were just dried plums, which maybe they sometimes are. However, the prune fruit is similar but ultimately distinct from the plum fruit. Plums are big fat round juicy affairs, while prunes are skinny and comparatively dry. While I've never baked with plums, I can say that prunes are amazing in the oven. They're okay raw, but MAN are they good baked. I made a tart and it was pretty much a religious experience. They don't spread out via juices hardly at all, but that basically means that they keep all their goodness concentrated. I didn't even need to put in sugar or spices. In fact, had I done so, I'm sure they wouldn't have been as delicious.

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