AP Stands for Apple Pie – America’s Favorite

American cultural icons, apple pie, baseball, ...
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Apples are flying out the door at stores and orchards and roadside stands. They are at their peak of flavor.

I was at another orchard this past week-end and “loaded up” on Jonathans, one of my favorite varieties for cooking purposes. I plan to make up extra apple pies to freeze and have ready for the holidays.

Pies can be frozen either baked or unbaked. Cool baked pies completed and wrap well in wax paper or plastic wrap and cover with aluminum foil or slip them into a gallon size resealable bag. For unbaked pies, which I prefer, prepare them for freezing in the same way. Label and date.

When ready to use, defrost unwrapped baked pie in the refrigerator. Then heat the pie in 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes. For frozen unbaked pies, unwrap and place directly in 350 degrees F oven without defrosting and bake for about 50 minutes or until nicely browned and juice bubbles through the slits in pie top.

Some people like to assemble their fruit pie filling and freeze it without the crust. For this, they would place plastic wrap on the bottom of a pie pan, pulling out enough plastic wrap to go around the entire filling. Then they pour the fruit filling onto the plastic wrap, cover with the wrap, then aluminum foil, or place inĀ  resealable bag, and freeze. After this is frozen, they slip the filling out of the pan and, if there are several pan-fuls, they stack the frozen fillings one on top of the other in the freezer. The pie pan can then be used again and it doesn’t tie up the pie plates in the freezer. Each filling is taken out when needed. The crust is prepared and made ready for the filling. The pie is then baked same as the unbaked pie above.

I invite you to sign up for my newsletter coming out soon that will feature some special apple recipes and other tips I want to share with you.

I hope you are fortunate enough to have an apple orchard nearby to visit this week-end.

Happy eating!

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

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Smile While You Cook!

Watching Jamie Oliver on the Food Revolution show brings out an important aspect of cooking, among other things, and that is to really get into what you are doing (the cooking part) and SMILE. This is what Jamie told the young boy who was interested in cooking. Just to enjoy the process. So many times we get overly-concerned about getting the ingredients in just the right proportions, and being very precise about our cooking methods, that we forget to enjoy what we are doing!

Jamie has so many lessons in his TV programs, but I thought this was a very important one to teach our children – to enjoy the process of cooking.

There are different types of cooks. Some are more experimental than others. Being creative and coming up with different combinations is part of the fun of cooking. When children are young, they love to combine ingredients to see what they will do. Even combining baking soda and vinegar and seeing the results is an activity that interests children. As an adult you can explain what is happening. You can tell them that it is the carbon dioxide gas formed from mixing the two together that causes the bubbling and foaming. The resulting foam and fizz from the reaction is often used in school projects to demonstrate the eruption of a volcano.

Some recipes need to be followed closely. For example, when you are baking cakes from scratch, it is important to follow the recipe carefully, but you can still smile. As you spoon the flour and sugar, notice the texture, and yes, even the feel. The entire process of combining foods and seeing the end result can leave you with a great sense of satisfaction.

Think how enjoyable working with bread dough can be. Children love to punch, knead, and roll the dough. Then to see, smell, and taste the end product is the ultimate experience.

These are some of the pleasures of cooking at home with your child. Here are the times he or she will remember. Make it enjoyable. Let them know it is OK to touch, to feel, to taste. And make sure you convey your interest and excitement in what you are doing. It’s contagious.

Here’s how Amy Houts, author of new book, “Cooking Around the Country With Kids-USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities” shows you how to get your kids cooking all across the country.

See Snaptail Books

Get those cooking skills going!

Lee Jackson
Home and Family Living Coach