A is for apple

Homepage A is for apple

On a fine clear morning I biked the long way to work.  I ventured through the hills and valleys that surround my home.  The leaves were showing their fall brilliance and the trees were bursting with fruit.  For a long while I followed a delivery truck from one of the orchards.  When I got into the city I would loose of it and then find it again, as it pulled in and out of school driveways.  It gave me pause for all the lessons learned from such a fine fruit, after all A is for Apple.

Apples are pure and sustainable.  They are a perfect food.  As a traveler I always have one in my bag.  A plaque preventative and meal on the go, I can think of no better substitute.  Savory salads, slaws and snacks all get a crunchy boost from this versatile fruit.  The seemingly endless varieties provide a range of tang and texture to choose from.  Breads and cakes get moisture and a nutritional boost when an apple is incorporated into the recipe.

In every apple I find a healthy dose of nostalgia.  They remind me of my grandma. Pastry piled high with slices coated in cinnamon and sugar often adorned her counters. The twinkle in her eye as she crafted her famous candied versions each October was always the cause of infectious laughter.  On it's own or coated in caramel, one thing is for sure, there is a smile in every bite.


Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy an apple:


Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini

St Patrick's Terrine

St Patrick's Day holds a special place in my heart.  It comes at a time when life is blossoming and the rays of the sun have a new sparkle.  Pretense and expectations are left at the door.  It's a time to celebrate our lives and the people who make it special.

A couple years ago Mark Darragh shared his recipe for this festive dish.  He actually emailed it to me from an Irish Pub in Manhattan after the parade.  "When you slice it you see the Irish Flag."  We've made a couple changes.   Parsnips and sweet potato are under utilized gems we just cant get enough of.  

Blend  sweet potato together with a pinch of Beau Monde Seasoning, Sea Salt and White Pepper and 1 egg and place in bottom of a greased loaf pan.  Steam parsnips until tender, mash and mix with sea salt and white pepper to taste.  Fold in 1 large egg and butter, spread - layer on to of potato mixture. Blend spinach,  a pinch of Beaumonde, the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 egg - mix well and layer on top of the potato mix. Bake in 350 oven until set but not browned, about 20-30 minutes. Do not try and slice right away. The terrine has to set up. It can be chilled for 2 hours and served by the slice or even heated up if you prefer. 


More fresh ideas for this special day;


Photo Credit:  Julie Cecchini