"Commentary from the Countryside"
Thoughts on current events,
history, homesteading, preparedness, real food, and anything else I find interesting, from a cranky, middle-aged woman's common-sense perspective.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

More Fun with the Mixer

Dried Apples
Melissa had a question about what recipes I had for using my dried apples.  Well here's the hands-down favorite.  This apple bread makes a good dessert, snack, or breakfast - at least I think it would, but it never lasts until the next day!  You can use fresh or dried apples, but in keeping with my goal of not buying produce at the grocery store, I use my dried apples when local, fresh off the tree apples are not available.  To use dried apples, I fill my large measuring cup with the amount the recipe calls for, add water until it comes up just under the top layer of apple chips, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  (If you cover the apples with too much water, they'll be a little too soggy to chop.)  The next day I let them drain in a colander while I'm getting out the rest of the ingredients, and then use my handy-dandy Pampered Chef chopper-thingy to finely dice them.  The measurements do translate across:  2 cups dried apples slice will equal 2 cups rehydrated diced apples.

Smells awfully good, too!
Mom's Vanishing Apple Bread

Bread:                                                  Toppping: 
1/4 cup butter                                  crumble together 
1 cup sugar                                     2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs                                             2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla                            2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt                             1 teaspoon cinnamon.
2 tablespoons sour milk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups finely chopped apples

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs.  Add vanilla, salt, sour milk, flour, and baking soda.  Mix thoroughly. Stir in apples and place batter in bread pan.  Sprinkle topping on top of bread batter.
Bake in 325 oven for 15 minutes, then reduce oven to 300 degrees and bake about 40 minutes.

As I type this, the house is quiet but for the gentle snores coming from the dog bed in the corner, (how does she curl up so tightly?) and the apple-cinnamon smell from the kitchen is wonderful.  We're having a warm stretch of weather, so the dawg and I set out for a walk down the muddy road once the bread was out of the oven.  The skies are gray and dismal, the fields are sienna and burnt umber, even the wheat has surrendered and lapsed into a sere yellow.  But the air is fresh and cool, and who can be melancholy with such a happy big ol' dawg for company?  We stopped to check out the creek, and walked up to where the old barns used to be; still so sad that they're gone, but that's a topic for another day.  What with all the running up and down the ditch bank, and stopping to sniff every hoof and paw print in the road, I think the dawg travels twice as far as I do on the same route, and she wore herself out.  Did a few yard chores when we got back; wanted to move the trailer only to discover that the truck won't run.  Uff da!  Hopefully it's nothing major and the family handyman (otherwise known as my brother) will convince it to behave when he stops by.  Maybe it's just because it sat for a couple of weeks?

I suppose that's the downside of being able to Stay Home.  Aside from that, it's been very gratifying to realize some of my stepping-stone goals.  I have reached a level of preparation where I have fruits, veggies, meat, and bread all to hand or easily put together just from my pantry, without needing to go to the store.  Even my recent bout with cold germs was easily handled.  I had home-made chicken soup (my Christmas present from a family member who brews it up on a woodstove), home-made applesauce, and a special treat, the peach juice I canned up last summer.  This wouldn't have been possible just two years ago.  Little steps do add up!

Checking out the creek

Not much going on


  1. Thanks for the recipe! Maybe I'll make it in the morning for breakfast! I don't have any milk in the house though. Hmmm.... Maybe a bit of sour cream and water will do the trick... ~grin~

    Hey, have you made any homesteading goals for 2012? We're seriously considering getting some bees. That would beeeee fun! :)

  2. Cat,
    I signed up to follow your site. I'll have to take some more time to sit a spell & read & enjoy.
    I copied your apple bread recipe to my files & am planning to give it a try.

    Take care & many blessings, Sheri (Claygirl)

  3. Thanks, Sheri! I'm enjoying Oldie's updates too, especially his reference to the forecasters as "weather guessers". Hee hee!

    Melissa the bees would be a wonderful idea, and you'll love the honey. Could be a steep learning curve, though. I still have two jars left of the honey that a local bee-keeper used to give us as rent for putting his hives on our farm. It's over thirty years old and still perfect. I think my biggest goal for this year is to find a job or develop my writing skills to bring in some income. I would love to get some chickens, we'll have to see how it goes.