" It's been quite the week. Over the weekend I co-hosted a 24-hour playwriting contest for the playwright development centre I'm involved with. While my co-host and I ensured the entrants never ran out of coffee or junk food, a dozen writers pounded out scripts on laptops in the Rotunda of Kitchener City Hall - under the watchful eye of a gigantic inflated dung beetle.
Really. You just can't make this stuff up.
Sleep-deprived, I worked on the soon-to-launch WordPress site and inadvertently imported two years' worth of posts from a totally unrelated blog. In case you were wondering. Yes, it does take a long time to find and delete 200 entries.
But after it was all done, I took solace in one of my favourite comfort foods. Apples.
I'll be covering a couple of quick and delicious recipes. First up is the classic and oh-so-simple baked apple (see above). Notice how it wears its cinnamon stick at a jaunty angle.
And then I move onto the elegant but easy single-serving apple crisp. Or is it crumble? Or Betty?
" No matter what you call it, it's tasty. Especially when topped with a dollop of creme fraiche and a swirl of maple syrup.
I'm told I'll have six minutes, so in case I run out of time, here are the recipes I plan to cover.
Apple season's just begun. If peaches and tomatoes are anything to go on, you know I can be obsessive. So tell me. How do you like your apples?
Simple Baked Apples
o 1 baking apple per person (Cortland, Northern Spy, Ida Red)
o cinnamon sticks
o maple syrup (optional)
o dot of butter (optional)
5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
6. Wash and core the apples.
7. Place in a baking dish so they aren't touching.
8. Put a sliver of cinnamon in the hole. If you like, add a dot of butter or 1 tbsp maple syrup.
9. Bake until soft, about 25 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the apple.
Individual Apple Crumbles
o 1 cup all-purpose flour
o 1 cup large flake oats (or rolled oats, not instant or minute)
o 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
o 1/2 tsp cinnamon
o 1/4 tsp nutmeg
o 1/2 cup butter, cold, in chunks
o 1 apple per person (Cortland, Northern Spy, Ida Red)
19. Sift the dry topping ingredients together.
20. Cut in cold butter until it resembles small peas.
21. Preheat oven to 350°F.
22. Wash, peel, core and chop the apples.
23. Toss apple pieces with a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired.
24. Fill each single-serving, oven-proof dish with 1 apple's worth of pieces.
25. Sprinkle crumble over the apples. (Any leftover crumble topping can be frozen until next time).
26. Bake 30 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown and the apples are bubbling.