Early Monday morning Elizabeth Hershberger, Jennifer Allen and her three children, my three children and I journeyed to DeWitt to pick apples at an orchard. Time is of the essence since the plan for the owner is to bulldoze all those lovely apple trees; too much work for him and no money in the sales of them. Once again, demonstrating that there is little evidence for a food shortage, but a food distribution problem. We loaded two pickups full of apples; just dumping them into the beds. Mrs. Hershberger had brought a great chili soup, which we all consumed like a mob of field hands, though after getting back home, a quick lunch for Allen needed fixing and Jessica made cookies. Off then we went to Meadville, Jessica to help Ivis with the daycare children for an hour whilst I gave blood. A couple hours later, all of us, Allen included thankfully, took the apples to be pressed into apple juice. What a treat indeed; fresh pressed juice to drink all winter. The next two days will be spent entirely at canning the juice since we just don’t have the freezer space. Both loads yielded about 100 gallons of juice!
Mohamed missed out entirely on this adventure since he attends public school and he already had a martial arts class to which a friend had offered to take him.
Busy, busy these past two weeks. In addition to the apple picking and juicing adventure, we’ve attended a farm walk north of Brookfield, a lovely outdoor wedding for Autumn Wood, a barbeque at New Bloomfield for a friend who was married the previous week in Laredo, TX, and had YMCA gym time on Tuesdays, which is always a highlight for the week. A family/student orientation for Mohamed and other foreign exchange students in our area was held in Moberly with students from Thailand, Morocco, Germany, Kosovo, and Mohamed from Egypt attending with their host families.
One Sunday afternoon, a couple from Moberly stopped in to buy some grass-finished beef and lamb. We were certainly glad they had time to stay for supper; we just threw some lamb brats on the barbie, harvested some veggies to stir fry, and enjoyed ripe pears from our tree for dessert. A rather thrown together affair, but they seemed to enjoy it anyway and we had great conversation. Mary is a nutritionist for the University of Missouri and her husband, Chad, teaches Old Testament at Moberly Christian College. It was well after dark before we let them leave!
Well, with the plethora of apples available this year, I would be remiss indeed not to post an apple recipe. Enjoy this family favourite.
Fruit and Nut Bars
1 cup unbleached white flour
½ cup quick oats
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 tablespoons softened butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large apples, cored and finely chopped, (1 ½ cups)
½ cup chopped dried apricots
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 375° F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. In medium bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy with electric mixer, . Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl, add flour mixture, and beat on low until smooth batter forms. Stir in fruit.
Spread batter in pan; top with pecans and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until centre is firm and golden brown. Cool in pan. Cut into bars with serrated knife.
Tauna Powell, along with her husband and three children raise cattle, jumbucks (sheep), and chooks (chickens) on their property near Laclede, Missouri. Contact her at www.mastersranch.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Write to her at The Master’s Ranch, 19554 Fort Road, Laclede, MO 64651