Apple Festival Time

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300px McIntosh with sticker by Lars Zapf 2006 03 30 cropped 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

 Apple Festival Time
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What to Do With All Those Apples?

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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

 What to Do With All Those Apples?
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Author Meets World of Apples

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

300px Various apples Author Meets World of Apples

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

Lee Jackson

 Author Meets World of Apples
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Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!

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

300px Apples Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!

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 AllBooksRushScanned 001 Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!AllBooksRushScanned 0011 Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!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 10 book AppleOrchard e1347384664951 Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!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

 Apple Season is Here – Enjoy!
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Secrets of a Blog Writer

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Spain and Louisburg CiderFest 009 145x300 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

 Secrets of a Blog Writer
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Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness

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9780930643225 214x300 Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and FreshnessThe 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

 Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness
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What Affects Your Food Choices?

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300px Food in a restaurant 2 What Affects Your Food Choices?

Image via Wikipedia

Do you eat only because you need food to stay alive? Or only for good health? Of course not! There are so many reasons why you choose to eat the food you do.

Food choices are based on cultural, religious, social, or psychological reasons. Even your own personal values enter into choosing foods. Sometimes, too, you eat what you eat because it’s the only food available when you need it.

Different cultures tend to center their foods around certain types. When one refers to Italian, Mexican, American foods, a certain kind of food comes to mind. Usually this is because of climate or geography that a particular food is grown there and becomes popular. Perhaps it is the custom or tradition to serve certain foods at festivals or special occasions and now becomes a food associated with a particular culture.

Religious influences such as not eating pork or not eating meat on certain days are special food customs of certain religions. Some are discouraged from drinking coffee and tea and alcoholic drinks. Fasting from foods is practiced by some religious groups.

Wouldn’t you think something was wrong with a get-together if there wasn’t something to eat or drink? Eating is very much a social activity. Most people don’t like to eat alone. Mealtimes with families are some of the first experiences of a social setting for children – a time of sharing the day’s events. Hopefully, with our fast-paced living, this social interaction will not become a lost art, but that families will continue to eat meals together.

Have you been a part of the “clean your plate” syndrome? Or, perhaps as a child you were given certain foods like candy or ice cream for good behavior. These are all part of the different ways you now look at food by what was encountered through associations with others. Maybe, too, you eat because you are unhappy or sad and lonely. These are all psychological reasons why you may choose to eat certain foods.

Then there are other, personal reasons why certain foods are eaten. It may have to do with a food allergy or condition, or because of a weight problem. Maybe it is because it smells so good and past experience lets you know it tastes good. Is it avoided because it is too expensive, or is it eaten because it is expensive and this is what the “rich people” eat? Here status comes into play.

So, you see, there are many influences that shape your eating habits and food choices: some are cultural, others are religious, social, or psychological. Hopefully, too, there is consideration of whether the food is healthy and good for you.

Why do YOU choose the foods you do when you are:

at the mall or fast food restaurant?
at a fancy restaurant?
at a cafeteria (school, business, or restaurant)?
in the grocery store?

I invite you to comment on why you eat the foods you eat.

Best to you and your family,
Lee Jackson, CFCS
Author: From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards
The Littlest Christmas Kitten, a children’s story book

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For Your Viewing Pleasure

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apple For Your Viewing PleasureI would really like for you to visit my new page at https://www.facebook.com/ImagesUnlimitedBooks.

If you give it a “like” I will be forever grateful. I need to spread the word more and I would like you to help me. Will you do that?

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Apples and cookbooks and kids
http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com

 For Your Viewing Pleasure
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Real Apple Connoisseurs – Take A Look at England’s Apple Heritage

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36595362 654076fbdd m Real Apple Connoisseurs   Take A Look at Englands Apple Heritage

Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Here is a good read about England and their long apple history. This universal fruit has fans the world over – but some fans are more discriminating than others.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/14/apple-britain-gala-traditional

I enjoyed reading how apples are viewed by others across the ocean. Hope you enjoy it, too!

Best to you,

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

 Real Apple Connoisseurs   Take A Look at Englands Apple Heritage
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Apple Recipes by the Hundreds

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300px Various apples Apple Recipes by the Hundreds

Image via Wikipedia

Whether you have a bushel or a peck or only a pound, you will find over a hundred ways to use apples in this apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers. Others have said: “Good to the Core“. The Mountain Airy News. “I purchased this book while in Georgia as a Thank You gift for a neighbor who took care of our plants while we were away. I should have purchased two, as it was hard for me to give it away after have read it, almost cover to cover. Where can I buy another?”  E.C., California.

You can get your autographed copy now when you order at http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPub.com.

Lee Jackson,CFCS
Author of From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards

 Apple Recipes by the Hundreds
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