Apple Festival Time

Harvest festivals are in full swing. Love this time of year!

I just came back from visiting Door County in Wisconsin where I bought some McIntosh apples. These apples are well-known in the northern part of the US and Canada.

The McIntosh is a very old apple variety, making its debut in Ontario, Canada in 1870. It went on to much fame, with the Empire and Cortland being two of its well-known offspring varieties.

It’s named after a farmer by the name of John McIntosh. The original tree was near the McIntosh home and was badly scorched when the house burned down in 1894. The tree continued to limp along, bearing fruit until 1908. A stone memorial now marks its site.

This dark red apple has an aromatic smell and has a somewhat spicy interior. It’s a good variety to use for applesauce but tends to lose its shape when baked in a pie. Makes great cider.

For ways on using McIntosh apples, as well as other varieties, check out my two apple cookbooks here.

Enjoy apples!

Lee Jackson

Author, From the Apple Orchard and
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards

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What to Do With All Those Apples?

Now, what are you going to do with all those apples? With hundreds of ways to enjoy apples, will you use them in pies, desserts, salads, breads, jellies, or other?

Following is a recipe for a super easy way to use apples in a coffee cake for Sunday morning breakfast or anytime. It’s from my apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers. Kids will enjoy making this simple but yummy and quick coffee cake.

APPLE BISCUIT COFFEE CAKE

2 cooking apples, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup raisins
1 can refrigerated ready-to-bake biscuits

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 egg
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in bottom of 9″ round cake pan. Arrange sliced apples over butter. Sprinkle raisins over apples. Cut each of the 10 biscuits into fourths and place over apples.

Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, corn syrup and egg until well blended and sugar is dissolved. Pour over biscuits. Sprinkle walnuts overtop. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter.

Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes. An adult needs to invert on serving plate, spooning juices over top. Place larger plate over cake pan and invert – use hot pads and lots of care as it is hot and gooey and can be tricky.

Yield:   6-8 servings

Enjoy the fruit of the season!

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Apple cookbook author: From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers and
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards

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Six Tips for Picking and Storing Apples

English: food , fruit , fruits , apple , apples

This crisp Fall air brings with it the wonderful smell and taste of fresh picked apples.

Here are six tips for picking and storing apples:

  • Twist or turn the apple from the branch. If you pull it, the buds next to it will break off and not bear fruit next year.
  • Don’t rely on redness as a guide to flavor.  Apples come in all shades of reds, yellows and greens. Choose clear colored apples. Often those with an intense green undercast or undertone are not completely ripe. Those with a dull yellowish-green undercast may be too ripe.
  • Choose apples that are free from bruises, blemishes and skin breaks. They should be firm with no soft spots or bruises.
  • When apples are thumped lightly with the knuckle, they should sound hollow, but not dull. Their smell should be flowery and aromatic.
  • For crisp, juicy apples, store in their plastic bag in the crisper part of the refrigerator, at 30 to 32 degrees. The freezing point of apples, which is damaging to the fruit, is about 28 or 29 degrees.
  • Wash just before using, as their protective coating helps keep them from becoming dehydrated and bruised.

Apples are best when at their freshest. Orchards and roadside stands are overflowing with their best products of the season.  This is the ideal time to visit apple orchards, stands, and produce centers, and savor the delectable fruits of the harvest.

I’ll be at Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure in Nebraska City, Nebraska this week-end, September 22. Hope to see you there!

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson
author of From the Apple Orchard – Favorite Recipes for Apple Lovers and
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes from America’s Orchards

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Author Meets World of Apples

I’ve had lots of nice comments on the recent story in the St. Joseph News-Press by Sylvia Anderson about my apple

Various apples

cookbooks and my work with apples. You can see the story here.

Lee Jackson

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Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!

Many years ago when I was a family and consumer sciences teacher, the students could hardly wait to work

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...

in a foods lab. “Are we cookin’

today” was an often heard remark.

Fall especially brought an abundance of different foods to prepare and sample.

One of the most versatile and interesting was the use of apples.  At that time we had five unit kitchens with four students in each. Each kitchen was to choose a different method of preparing apples and then all would sample the results.

There was much “ours is better than yours”. “No, wait ‘til you try this” and “I didn’t think you could do all this with apples”.

Thus began the basis for my apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard Recipes for Apple Lovers.  Who would have thought this cookbook would be one folks tell me they refer to every fall?

If you have a problem wondering what to do with all those apples, I invite you to check out this book at http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com and get one for yourself – and a friend. Apples continue to be one of nature’s most beautiful and bountiful fruits.

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson, CFCS

Family and Consumer Life Studies

http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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Secrets of a Blog Writer

I'm at an apple orchard event.

I’ve been writing this blog for the past 3-4 years. I know a little about you – that you’re interested in kids and cooking. But you probably don’t know a whole lot about me because I’m usually on some topic about eating tips and helping kids stay healthy or about Mom’s helping kids stay well – my top passions.

Today I want to include some things you may not know about me. Yes, I’m a long-time blogger, but here are 5 other things about me:

1. I taught high school family and consumer science classes for over 20 years.

2. In my first year of teaching, I taught all the “home ec” classes, biology classes, and PE (physical education) classes.

3. Love apples. Growing up, we had an apple orchard on our farm –  this whetted my appetite for that bountiful fruit.

4. I was a child-recipe-clipper. While my young friends cut out paper dolls, I cut out recipes.

5. I just sent out a large mailing for my apple cookbooks this week. If you’re one of my customers, expect some mail. If you’re not, just email me at Lee at images unlimited pub.com and I’ll send you a charming flyer with all our books illustrated in full color. Be ready for apple season.

I know I’m off topic today but I thought this might be fun – besides, it’s too hot to think too deeply. Please continue to visit  here– share your thoughts and concerns and ask questions. What are some topics  about which you’re needing more information? I’ll try to help by searching for answers. Let me know – I’d love to hear from you.

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson
Food Writer
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

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Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness

The crisp Fall air brings with it the wonderful smell and taste of fresh picked apples.

Here are some tips for picking and storing apples:

  • Twist or turn the apple from the branch. If you pull it, the buds next to it will break off and not bear fruit next year.
  • Don’t rely on redness as a guide to flavor.  Apples come in all shades of reds, yellows and greens. Choose clear colored apples. Often those with an intense green undercast or undertone are not completely ripe. Those with a dull yellowish-green undercast may be too ripe.
  • Choose apples that are free from bruises, blemishes and skin breaks. They should be firm with no soft spots or bruises.
  • When apples are thumped lightly with the knuckle, they should sound hollow, but not dull. Their smell should be flowery and aromatic.
  • For crisp, juicy apples, store in their plastic bag in the crisper part of the refrigerator, at 30 to 32 degrees. The freezing point of apples, which is damaging to the fruit, is about 28 or 29 degrees. Wash just before using, as their protective coating helps keep them from becoming dehydrated and bruised.

Apples are best when at their freshest. Orchards and roadside stands are overflowing with their best products of the season.  This is the ideal time to  visit apple orchards, stands, and produce centers, and savor the delectable fruits of the harvest.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for cookies, from my apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers:

Apple Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
l teaspoon baking powder
l teaspoon baking soda
l/2 teaspoon salt
l/4  teaspoon cinnamon
l/4  teaspoon nutmeg
l/2 cup (l  stick) butter or margarine
l cup brown sugar
l egg
l/4 cup milk
2 cups apples, peeled and grated
l/2 cup chopped nuts

Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg. Stir in dry ingredients with milk, apples, and nuts. Mix well. Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes. Glaze cookies with the following while still warm:

l  cup confectioners’ sugar
l tablespoon soft butter or margarine
l-2 tablespoons milk
l/2 teaspoon vanilla

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Enjoy visiting apple orchards and savoring the fruit of their bounty!

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Apple cookbook author: From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers,
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards

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