COVID-19 Wk 30: Hunkering Down

Fall is here and Oregon is finally turning the page on a long dry season. Rain and cooler temps came in late this week for some much needed relief. Last night there was another brush fire over near Cherry Grove too. I hope the rain tamps it down quick. That rain looks to be staying with us through the middle of the coming week, which is a very good thing indeed. You’re not going to get any complaints from me.

On the COVID side of the news Oregon has had several days with over 400 new cases being reported. The media keeps talking about another surge as the weather forces people inside and we head into winter. What I am kind of hoping is that people just finally decide to stay home and chill the heck out. Stop going out and hanging out with a bunch of people…..It’s what we plan on doing. (staying home or at the very least just the two of us if we head out for a hike or bike ride).

This weekend Mia and I really just hunkered down and chilled out. Mountain bike World Championships were on NBC Sports on Saturday so I watched both the women’s and men’s races. Then this morning NBC Sports also played Paris-Tours which is highly entertaining with the gravel sectors they’ve added over the past few years. Now if I could only see the Giro and Gent-Wevelgem it would have been a weekend of doing nothing constructive.

I did manage to start a reorganization of the garage (exciting I know!) and then also make a dessert that I haven’t made since Mia and I lived on Broad Ave next to Rollins Park. This one is called Brown Sugar Apple Pudding. It isn’t pudding in the American sense (i.e. not Jello-O) but more in the British sense of the word.

Brown sugar apple pudding
The start of something amazing

This recipe is from a book by Sue Spitler called 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes. I actually sold that book at the huge yard sale we had before moving to Oregon. I had to go on a quest to Powell’s Books PDX location a few years ago to find another copy. Their used book selection is excellent and lucky enough I found a copy right away.

Brown sugar apple pudding
Brown sugar apple pudding
Brown sugar apple pudding
baked to perfection (in my opinion)

There is a definite connection between food, emotions and memories. The term comfort food is around for a reason. I associate many things with this particular dessert. Not the least the early stages of Mia and my relationship, my career start in government finance and reconnecting with some friends from high school since this was the first time I had lived in the Concord area since college graduation.

Brown sugar apple pudding
Simple and delicious

This one is not available online anywhere that I can find. I am posting it here for people. If you like it please go buy the book.

Ingredients:
cooking spray
6 cups peeled, cored, sliced (1/4″) apples. I like granny smith
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup fat-free milk

  1. Lightly spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray; arrange apple slices in casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Combine brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a medium bowl; stir in egg and vanilla. Mix combined flour, baking powder and salt alternately with milk, stirring only until blended. Pour batter over apple slices.
  3. Pour brown sugar syrup (see below) over batter. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees 50 – 55 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Brow sugar syrup
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    2 tbs flour
    1 tsp butter
    1 cup water
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    Combine brown sugar, flour and butter in a small saucepan. Stir in water and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Thanks for reading,

-Pete

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