My posts come to you through the courtesy of my Apple Computer products. Even though Siri gets a little bossy sometimes, she always delivers me to my destination. She’s helped me find the nearest Starbucks on my frequent road trips, too.
But, when I think of apples my strongest memory is of the ones I almost missed. My parents didn’t overwhelm us with rules, but were steadfast in holding to the ones they set. We were told to be on time for dinner, could not laugh through the litany of prayers my dad insisted we recite before the meal, and each had daily kitchen chores that had to be completed. Breaking any of these rules could result in punishment. I often got busted during prayers because my brother would kick me under the table to make me laugh. This incursion resulted in banishment from the table until the family had finished.
Once another mom made me late for dinner. I played at the house of a neighborhood friend who used a word I can’t recall to mock her younger siblings. I joined in and repeated it. Even though I was late for dinner, the mom would not let me leave until we had looked the word up in the dictionary and apologized for using it. My mom excused me that time because defying an adult would have been a worse transgression than being late for dinner.
The one I paid for happened the night of our big bonfire. The neighborhood dads had raked all of the fallen autumn leaves and planned to burn them curbside after dinner, a common practice in those days. All the kids on the block planned to wrap buttered-and-cinnamon-sprinkled whole apples in foil and toss them into the blaze. When the leaves turned to ash the baked apples would be retrieved, unwrapped, and eaten. I couldn’t wait!
But after school that day a friend enticed me to wander 3 blocks from home with her to use the school playground equipment. We first graders were new to the school and all of its assets. Neither of us yet possessed a watch and cell phone technology was decades away. After a big time on the swings and slides hunger pains rumbled, so we wandered back to our turf where kids were gathering in front of the giant leaf pile. That sight stopped me in my tracks. Dinner was over and I was late! My dad pointed to the front door. Head hung low I climbed the front stoop stairs and entered the house to face my punishment. As feared, I was sentenced to washing dishes while the bonfire roared. With the task complete, I sat and watched the big event from the front window. My siblings, neighbors, and even my playground pal toasted marshmallows. I moped, elbows on the windowsill, fists supporting my frowning face. When the fire neared the ash stage my mom opened the door and let me out in time to snag a charred foil ball. Inside was the best apple I ever ate.
To this day I love the smell of cinnamon and apples, and use those ingredients in savory dishes often, especially with chicken and pork. An easy way to flavor up thin-cut pork chops is with baked apple slices. When you’ve got an hour before mealtime, put on a Beatles song and try this Easy method of baking some apple slices.
· Preheat your oven to 400°.
· Grease a small baking dish with olive oil, olive oil spray, or butter.
· Heat 1 Tbs honey and 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice to emulsify.
· Peel, core, and slice an apple.
· Lay the apple slices in one layer in the baking dish.
· Pour the honey and lemon mixture over the slices and sprinkle them with nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake for 1 hour, and serve as a side or topping to your chops.
Enjoy this recipe, and enjoy National Apple Week any apple-y way you choose.
Photo Courtesy of Easy Weekly Meals