I have to admit that I have not always been a good steward of our food supply. I’ve never been a particularly methodical person, which is really important in order to make sure that all foods you buy get used in a timely manner, especially those with a “short shelf life” like meat and fresh fruits and vegetables. So I do occasionally throw something away just because I didn’t use it soon enough.
But I’m getting better! I bought quite a few packages of meat when I thought we might be snowed in. And I’m pleased to say that when I make barbequed chicken today (with the last two of the baking potatoes and the last bag of salad), I will have used up most of my fresh prepared-for-blizzard purchases.
But when I came into the kitchen this morning I noticed the last two apples in a bowl on the counter. They weren’t spoiled yet, but they definitely didn’t look very fresh. They were no longer rock hard like we like our snacking apples to be so I would have normally thrown them away. But I suddenly remembered a recipe for apple pancakes that I had set aside from the newspaper a few days ago and wondered if two slightly past their prime Gala apples would work for that recipe.
We have a once-a-week column in our evening newspaper that is written by an Amish wife and mother. I don’t always read her account of what has been going on in her family for the week, but she usually includes a recipe and I do always look at it. The Amish are known for their good cooking and many of their recipes are ones that you don’t find in English (in their lingo, that’s all of us who aren’t Amish) cookbooks.
So, I looked for the recipe in the cupboard where I keep my recipes and, eureka, the recipe called for two apples and luckily didn’t specify “fresh”!
So, I made it for breakfast and we really liked it. Here it is:
When I removed each slice from the pan, I turned it over on the plate so that the apples were on top. She didn’t specify that, but I thought it would look the most appetizing that way. (Note to self: next time you should really take the time to “arrange” the apple slices. It would look even better.)
Apple Oven Pancakes (serves 4)
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put an oven-proof 9″ or 10″ skillet in the oven.
My Note: Melt 3 T. of butter in a small bowl or cup in the microwave now so that it will have time to cool a little before you add some of it to the egg mixture.
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 C. brown sugar firmly packed
3/4 t. cinnamon
3/4 C. flour
1/4 t. salt
3 large eggs
3/4 C. milk
1 t. vanilla
3 T. butter, melted (cooled slightly)
In a bowl, combine apple slices with brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss gently to coat well.
In another bowl, combine flour and salt.
In a small bowl or large cup, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and 1 T. of the melted butter. Add to the flour and blend. The mixture will have the typical slightly lumpy appearance of pancake batter.
Take skillet from oven and add the remaining melted butter. Swirl to coat bottom of pan.
Arrange apple slices over bottom of pan. (There was a little brown sugar “goo” left in the bottom of the bowl of apples, so I used a spoon to scrape it out and put it on top of the apples.)
Pour batter over the apples.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked and lightly browned.
We ate this as soon as it came out of the oven. Because it’s called a pancake, I had put butter and syrup on the table, but we found that neither was necessary. It was delicious just as it was. A great Saturday morning breakfast!
No matter whether you are one of those who are going through tough times money-wise or not, it is smart for all of us to look for ways to be good stewards of what we have. So this breakfast not only tasted delicious to me, but it made me happy that I found a use for those two slightly past their prime apples.
“Waste not, want not.”, is an old saying that still makes sense. And, like me, you’re never too old to adopt it as your own.