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Delicious Day!

Autumn. Outside a chickadee family is playing tag through the rose of Sharon and poplar trees. Their chattering is of a happy tone. They don’t seem to care about winter concerns on this most gorgeous, delicious of autumn days. They are happy, plain and simple.

Even the raucous blue jay wants to get in on the game. When ignored, he decides to show his prowess by imitating the Cooper’s hawk’s call. For a moment it scatters the small feathered playmates into denser foliage. The jay flies off satisfied with himself; and the little ones come back out to play.

Indoors, the closed laundry door muffles the glug glug of the washer. It’s another load destined for the outdoor clothesline. Fresh autumn air is fine for drying blankets and airing pillows. Sweet scents will permeate our dreams.

Open windows let in copious quantities of extra cool morning air. That’s how we come to hear the wren calling his spring song. He’s not confused, just happy like the chickadees. A mixture of summer and autumn prevails throughout the day. By suppertime, it’s warm enough to grill out.

We find Schmidt’s Bahama Mamas — spiced and smoked sausages — a fine way to celebrate the day. Loaded on a bun with hotdog sauce, chopped onions, relish and cheese, they are tasty fare. Sides are Copey’s coleslaw and potato salad.

Dessert is another matter. A baking aroma needs to melt into the autumn air wafting through the open windows. A discussion ensues as to what is the best dish. Three people of course will give three answers. So here are all three recipes plus an extra. (You can always freeze them.) You choose. And enjoy this day.

Apple Gingerbread

Ingredients:

• 1/3 cup butter
• 1/2 cup light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup molasses
• 1 egg
• 1 3/4 cups flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 1 medium apple

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

2. Cream butter, sugar, molasses and egg. Sift together dry ingredients. Add dry to creamed ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Blend well.

3. Peel and core the apple and slice thinly. Lay slices in bottom of prepared pan in circular pattern. Pour batter over top and smooth out. Tap pan on counter to force batter down in between apple slices. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Immediately invert over serving plate and turn out. You can also bake with apple slices on top of batter, leaving the baked cake in the pan or baking dish. Baking time may need to be adjusted.

Butterscotch-Apple Pudding

Ingredients:

Sauce:

• 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
• 2 cups water
• 1/4 cup butter

Combine ingredients in sauce pan, bring to boil, boil 2 minutes, remove from heat.

Batter:

• 1 cup brown sugar, packed
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 1/3 cups flour
• 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/4 cups peeled, diced sweet-tart apple

Instructions:

1. Sprinkle the apples with 1/3 of the brown sugar. Set aside. Sift rest of sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together. Blend in the butter as for pie crust. Add milk, blending just till ingredients are dampened. Stir in apples and any juice accumulated.

2. Pour hot sauce into 9-inch square baking pan. Spoon batter over sauce. Bake for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven. Test for doneness with toothpick. Serve warm.

Chocolate Apple Bars

Ingredients:

• 2 squares semisweet chocolate
• 1/2 cup butter or margarine
• 1/2 cup applesauce
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup brown sugar, packed
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions:

1. Melt chocolate and butter together, set aside. Mix applesauce, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together. Stir dry into applesauce mixture. Add chocolate/ butter. Mix well. Spread in greased 9-inch square pan. Sprinkle nuts on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until done. Cool. Cut in squares or bars.

Apple Butter or Jam Bars

Ingredients:

• 3/4 cup butter or margarine
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 cups flour
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
• 1/2 cup thick apple butter or strawberry jam
• Powdered sugar

Instructions:

1. Cream butter and sugar well. Add egg and vanilla. Sift flour and cinnamon together. Stir into creamed mixture along with nuts. Put half the dough into a greased 9-inch square pan. Press lightly to fill the pan. Spoon apple butter or jam over top and spread to edges. Dollop rest of dough on top with small spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and tests done with toothpick. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut in bars.

Published on Oct 19, 2017

Grit Magazine

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