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photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'll Sit Down When I'm Good and Ready. OK- I'm Good and Ready.

Sunday is the only day of the week that doesn't belong to anyone but myself.

It's the only day I have to accomplish the many many things I need and want to do around this place, which means that by the end of my "day of rest" I'm exhausted.

That's OK, though. I start with a list and as I check each thing off I feel lighter and happier. Sometimes inside projects, sometimes outside projects, sometimes a little of both, I always end up with cooking and baking.

Cooking and baking are calming, grounding, visceral, a link to the past and literally feeding the future- there's something about a home cooked meal that can't be duplicated or equaled by scraping stuff out of a box or a can.

By the time I'm done cooking and baking the pain that starts in my right heel (my daughter the marathon runner says it's facia-something-itis) around lunch time and extends up the back of my leg during my various projects is sending shooting pains into my lower back. That's when I know it's time to sit down.

I'm not a spring chicken anymore. I won't go so far as to say I'm an old biddy (yet), but if I were in the meat case at the grocery store I would be unceremoniously bagged for stewing and not artfully arranged in a fryer tray to show off my legs, thighs and...WINGS- what did you THINK I was gonna say???

When I get up out of bed to pee in the middle of the night I can't straighten up at first, ditto in the morning on my way to the coffee pot. I look down at my hands and wonder why I'm wearing old lady skin gloves. I don't have double chins (yet)but maybe they would help hide the turkey neck I seem to have developed.

But it's fine. Really. This body has sprouted 3 children and weathered over half a century- of course it's gonna have a few dents and scratches.

So I tend to my projects and cross them off the list, trying not to notice that the list gets longer instead of shorter with every Sunday.

I cook and bake and delight in using fresh ordinary ingredients to make food for my family that's delicious and healthy for them.

Yesterday I made apple dumplings for the first time. None of the boys had had them before, which was great since they then had no idea of whether or not I'd done them correctly. Although most of the things I cook end up tasting just fine-to-scrumptious, one of the most often heard sentences at our dining table is "Oh yes- it IS supposed to look like that".

So I made the dumplings and they were easy and only mildly time consuming. Then I sat the hell down, which is what Ward is always telling me to do.

He's a wise man, with the patience of a saint and I seriously don't deserve him.

He loves anything apple- apple pie, apple cake...and I made these with him in mind.

Because yanno, he puts up with me day in and day out- it's the least I could do...

The Least I Could Do Apple Dumplings

Make the pastry-

3c baking mix (I use Pioneer)
1c (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2c sour cream plus milk enough to make into a soft dough

Mix the baking mix, butter and sour cream and just enough milk to make a soft dough.
Knead till it holds together on a floured surface, then roll out into an 8 X 12 inch rectangle. Starting at a short end, fold into 3 sections. Turn 90 degrees and do it again. And again. Chill in refrigerator while preparing the innards.

Innards-

3 medium apples
1 8 oz package of cream cheese

Peel apples and cut into thirds, discarding seeds and cores. Cut cream cheese into 9 equal parts.

Divide dough into 9 equal parts and roll each into a 6 inch square. Place apple third and a cream cheese chunk in center of the square and bring up corners to wrap it, pinching at the top. Place dumplings in a buttered 13 X 9 inch baking dish and preheat oven to 350.

Make Sauce-

In a small saucepan stir together 1 cup orange juice, 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup water. boil and stir till reduced just a bit and pour over dumplings.

Sprinkle dumplings with 3 tbsp of sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon and bake for about 30 minutes or till done.

Serve warm. Receive hugs and smiles.

*the boys- Ward, Alec and Joe had never had them before and rated them 3 thumbs up each. Edna had had them before and said they were "much better than OK" and she's VERY particular about food.

3 comments:

  1. 3c baking mix (I use Pioneer)..... is that like bisquik? sounds pretty good!

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  2. Pioneer is like Bisquik but doesn't seem to clump up as bad- I keep mine in the freezer...several boxes- use it for everything from pancakes to biscuits to chocolate cake :)

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  3. Oh my goodness that sounds so good! I am saving the recipe. I figure any time I make desserts with fruit in them I am probably going to be within diet range. :o)

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