Apple Season

Finally, after far too long, fall weather has arrived bringing chilly nights and gorgeous days. This is the kind of weather where you hang out at the dog park or the skate park or the marine park and scowl at the sun when it decides to set before five. It's perfect for heading to the orchards for some apple picking, or at least picking up some apples at your local farmer's market. But what do you do when you get that bushel of apples home and realize just how big a bushel is? That's when you leap into the other perfect fall activity, baking. If you're feeling particularly ambitious you can bake lots and lots and freeze your baked goods for the upcoming holiday season.

Jenny Bristow has an interesting and deluxe sounding recipe available for Apple, Lemon and Vanilla Cake that she says can also be served as a pudding. She's Irish and I'm thinking her definition of pudding is different than mine. Images like this one of an early spring rhubarb pudding with a rhubarb and berry sauce seems to indicate that I could be right as it doesn't look anything like the stuff Mr. Cosby used to hawk as part of his Jell-O campaign. The cake recipe is fun to read, even if you don't cook, because it has mysterious ingredients like sultanas, which I'm pretty sure doesn't refer to say the ruler of Delhi in the early part of the thirteenth century. Ms. Bristow uses olive oil instead of butter, banishing the saturated fats and pleasing your palate in one stroke.

Jenjen from Australia has this delicious looking recipe for baked doughnuts. She says she doesn't like to deep fry and she certainly doesn't like what eating deep fried foods does to her but she does like doughnuts so she adapted another recipe and came up with these Apple Cider Doughnuts. She says that by using a special baking pan she's able to make these as light and fluffy as a certain doughnut with the initials KK. As an added bonus they stay fresh longer than fried doughnuts because the fat doesn't go stale right away. Stale fat = bad; light and fluffy = good.

Janeen of the Zum Family blog has created an apple pie that is perfect for those who have allergies (no wheat, no nuts, no dairy) or who are just trying to avoid dairy. It relies on buckwheat, sorghum and rice flours as well as dairy-free margarine. The recipe, along with step-by-step photos, can be found here. Be warned, a song plays when you visit her site, which can be disconcerting (or headache inducing) if you're already listening to something else.

I definitely wanted to include an apple bread in this column but I didn't want one that was too ordinary. The Coconut and Lime blog came through with this intriguing recipe for Key Lime and Apple Bread. At first I wasn't really sure if that combination sounded tasty but it calls for Granny Smith apples, which themselves are tart, so the apple lime fusion isn't as odd as it could be.

So what do you do if you just don't like apples? Maybe their texture gives you the creeps or one frightened you when you were a kid, leaving a lifelong loathing. In that case, don't worry. I've got you covered. This link will take you to a page that will teach you everything you need to know about preparing apple snails, which the author points out is an excellent source of protein for humans. And if you eat the apple snails they aren't eating the apples. It's a win-win situation.

One-Paragraph Review

This week's one-paragraph review is from an actual super villain called Mr. Oblivion, who saw 30 Days of Night and has this to say, "It was ok, I guess. A bit gory, but the premise is good - vampires take over a far northern Alaska town just as the 30-day blackout sets in (and a blizzard hits at one point). Kind of a twist ending, which I won't spoil. The cinematography breaks down into some really neat scenes - the graphic novel roots of this film are pretty obvious in many of the shots. It was way less obvious than the framing in 300 (which had that abstract Miller-style to it) but still picturesque. I wish whoever had filmed this would have directed the Hulk instead of John Wu." Have you got a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me and I'll run the most interesting ones. You can reach me at