October is ‘National Apple Month’ so I decided to look up and see how many different kinds of Apples there are. Wow, I did not expect to find the number I did – there are literally dozens and maybe hundreds – the only letter in the Alphabet that does not bear the name of an Apple is ”X”. There are numerous kinds of Apples for each and every letter, however most of us are familiar with only a small number of them.
The most common Apples are the Red and Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Pippins and Granny Smith. The best for eating are the Delicious, of course and the Gala and Fuji. The best for baking are Granny Smith and Pippins. The last two are not terribly sweet and have a firm flesh which lends them well to baked goods such as pies and pastries. For cooking and Applesauce the Winesap and Gravensteins are excellent.
My favorite use for Apples is to make Pie and of course, there is nothing as American as ‘Apple Pie’. I also love Apple Turnovers made with Puff Pastry. Puff Pastry is a pain to make but you can purchase frozen Puff Pastry Sheets which work very well. You can also use Pie Crust or even Yeast Dough for your Turnovers Shells.
There are also many other ways in which we can use Apples and so I am going to explore some of them here and reference several really great recipes. The first one is for Apple Bread – what a good way to use up those Apples from your tree or even the ones you bought. You can even use Applesauce. Try the referenced recipe. This recipe makes two to three loaves, depending on the size of the pans you use. You can also make Muffins from the same recipe. If there is too much for your family to consume at one time, these loaves freeze well or you can share them with your friends. www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/breads/apple-bread/
Apple Pie can be made in various ways – there are French Apple Pies with a streusel topping and then there are the traditional ‘American’ type Apple Pies with both a bottom and a top crust. The referenced recipe is for a French Apple Pie which always easy to make because there is only a bottom crust and you don’t have to worry about getting the top crust to fit and look beautiful. www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/pies-pastry/
Apple Turnovers are absolutely my favorite way to go! You can eat them out of hand without utensils; they are good for Breakfasts on the Go or for snacks or Desserts. You can use Puff Pastry or Pie Crust or any of your favorite pastry doughs.
Apple Brown Betty is an old fashioned dish which can also be used for dessert or for Breakfast. There is no Pie Crust to worry about, just a cumbly topping. It is fast and easy to make and is great with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream on top. www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/deserts/apple-brown-betty/
Caramel Apples are one of my favorite ways to eat Apples. I love Apples and I love Caramel and nothing goes better together than Apples and Caramel. And since Halloween is this Month what better treat than Caramel Apples to share with the kids. This recipe is simple to make and the Apples are fun to eat. The best Apples to use for Caramel Apples are Granny Smith or Golden Delicious. Pippins are also good, but make sure that they are somewhat ripe or they will be to tart to eat, even with the Caramel. www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/halloween-recipes/caramel-apples/
Remember, October is ‘National Apple Month’ and there is no better time to buy and eat Apples than now. Even better is if you can pick your own, either from your own trees or nearby orchards. Play around and experiment – Apples are a wondrous fruit and don’t forget ‘An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away’. Try a different Apple Recipe for the Month of October – ‘National Apple Month’. And another reason for eating and using them now is that later on, the Apples you buy will all have been in cold storage which makes them mealy and less tasty. So take advantage of ‘National Apple Month.
One way to teach your children about the different cultures in the world is through the food associated with each particular culture and the holidays observed. There is not one month in the year when there is not a holiday, observance or celebration of one kind or another.
In the United States, Martin Luther King Day is observed on the 3rd Monday in January although his actual Birthday was January 15th. Dr. King was the chief spokesman for peaceful activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
Although Martin Luther King Day is not necessarily a holiday associated with food, we can still come up with food items that Dr. King particularly liked. Southern cooking comes to mind, so any of your favorite Southern dishes would be appropriate. My favorite of course, is Southern fried Chicken and I have no doubt but that Martin Luther King would have like it too. So get your children into the kitchen and prepare a Southern Menu for this holiday.
Menu suggestions are:
Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes
Collard Greens or Okra
Sweet Potato Pie
Try this recipe for Fried Chicken and add your favorite side dishes; and don’t forget to get the children involved in helping to make the side dishes!
2 Frying Chickens
2 cups Buttermilk
2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Paprika
¼ tsp. Cayenne (optional)
Oil for Frying
- Cut Chicken into serving size pieces; wash, remove any pin feathers and dry.
- Place the Chicken in a baking dish and pour the Buttermilk over it; refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes.
- Place the Flour, Salt, Pepper, Paprika and Cayennein a large paper bag; add a few pieces of Chicken at a time and shake gently so that each piece of Chicken is covered with the Flour mixture.
- Heat Oil in a deep fryer; the Oil should be deep enough to completely cover each piece of Chicken.
- When the Oil reaches 375 degrees, fry a few pieces at a time; there should be at least an inch of space between each piece. Cook until each piece is thoroughly done or measures 170 degrees on a meat thermometer. (It will take about 20 minutes to fry, depending on the size and the piece – white meat cooks faster than dark meat)
- Drain on paper towels or brown paper bags turned inside out.
- Serve hot.
- Heat about ½” of Oil in a large skillet or sauté pan; quickly brown each piece of Chicken (use high heat). Transfer to a platter until all the pieces are browned.
- Return all the Chicken to the pan; add 1 cup of Water or enough to come up at least half an inch.
- Turn heat to high; when the water starts boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover the pan and slowly cook the Chicken until tender. (about 30 minutes)
- Remove the lid and let the Chicken fry slowly until crisp or place on a baking pan and put in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
NOTE: ½ tsp. Garlic Powder may be added to the flour mixture as well as poultry seasoning, if desired.
Yield: 8 Servings
For the recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/vegetables/mashed-potatoes-with-caramelized-onions/
For a recipe for Pecan Pie please see http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/deserts/pecan-pie/