Need Directions? Don’t Ask Winter…

We’re experiencing the tail end of a Nor’Easter here in Maryland.  Josh (my sweet friend and resident weather expert, you can read his blog here) tells me that the rain is probably over, but it’s going to be cold for the rest of the week.


Over the weekend, I did a few projects, the blogs for whom will be up soon(ish). So today is really about a couple random food projects. Up first, Apple Sauce.  I really like apple sauce, but I’ve never made it before.  I had a few Galas that have been in my crisper since sometime last June, so I decided to use them up.  I peeled and chunked up the apples and put them in the smallest saucepan I could find with just a splash of water.  Turn the heat on as low as it will go, cover and ignore for a while.  When the apples start to give off some of their juices, slowly start nudging the heat up.  Cook until the apples are soft and then put them through a ricer,  food mill, or use a potato masher to break them up (like I did).  It’s really a matter of preference at this point.  The longer you cook them, the darker and sweeter and less chunky they get.  I kind of forgot about mine and watched a movie (Brian’s Song, by the way.  Really good, put it on your Netflix queue and grab the tissues) so they cooked for like 3 hours and got really dark and sweet.  Delicious!  You’re not really going to burn them as long as you keep your heat low and lid on.

Final Product:

Since it’s been raining for two days and today it’s barely reached 40 degrees, I decided to have french fries for lunch.  Don’t look at me like that, it totally follows.  I didn’t make my own, instead choosing the frozen kind, but I did make a couple dipping sauces which were quite yummy.

And before any of my well-meaning bleaders remind me that french fries do not a balanced meal make, let me assure you that I know, and in that spirit I sliced up half a cucumber to act as a “salad”.  Then I got hungry while the fries were baking and ate it, so I sliced up the other half….and ate that too.

Anyway, dipping sauces can be really simple, but make a huge difference when dealing with simple foods.  Fries taste like potatoes and salt, which while delicious, aren’t exactly complex flavors.  My first sauce (top in this picture) was just malt vinegar with a little Old Bay Seasoning.  If you aren’t from Maryland, you may not have had this combo, but trust, it’s awesome. The second (middle) was a combination of ranch dressing and barbecue sauce.  Sounds strange, but really, quite good.  The third (bottom) is my Spicy Ketchup.  A dash of cayenne pepper and some granulated garlic give regular ketchup a nice zip.

Did I just say “zip”? How horrifying.  Whatevs, I’m blaming it on a case of the Mondays.

So that’s it.  I’m spending the rest of this day catching up on work and nursing a pot of tea.  More adventures to come soon!

Happy Monday!

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