Thursday, October 30, 2008

Apples and Army Men

Last Saturday at the Farmers Market I bought one and a half bushels of apples to make applesauce. We had Missions Conference this week at church, so the apples have been sitting around waiting to be turned into something. We bought an old-fashioned apple peeler, slicer, corer from Ace Hardware and started in to peel the apples. Meagan wanted to help, so she started it out. After a couple of apples, things began to go awry. The apples were falling off of the peeler instead of staying in one long spiral after peeling. So I decided to try to figure it out and, in the process, sliced my finger pretty good. I bandaged my finger, and we kept going with the apples.
The apple peels and cores when we were done...And we still have over a bushel of apples left!

Meagan diligently peeling. She thought it was great fun.

Brian and Lauren figured out what to do with those leftover peels--Have a peel eating contest! ;)

Not only did we make some applesauce tonight, but we also made apple dumplings. Chad's mom used to make them on Sunday afternoons, and they are still his favorite dessert of all time. So, two or three times a year, I try to make them. While I was busy making my dumplings, Meagan found some leftover scraps of dough and decided to make some "baby" turnovers of her own! (Yes, we did eat them when they were done.)

Dumplings in the making

Ready to go in the oven...

Elisabeth mashing the applesauce

Meagan's completed dumplings. They took about 5 minutes to bake, and they were quite yummy!

While we were waiting for the Apple Dumplings to bake, we played one of our favorite family games--Army Guys. Basically, we each have a book that we place an agreed upon number of army guys on top of. We then each take turns throwing the extra guys to try to knock down everyone else's guys. We have been playing this game for years and years and love it because everyone can be involved.

Apple Dumplings Ready to Eat!

Judi's Apple Dumplings
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
1/4 t. cinnamon and nutmeg
6-10 drops red food coloring, optional
3 T. butter
*Combine sugar, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and add butter. Set aside.
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2/3 c. shortening
1/2 (or so) c. milk
*Combine first three ingredients. Cut in shortening. Add milk. Mix just until moistened.
Roll out dough into a 12"x18" rectangle. Cut into 6 squares. Place cut apples in the middle of each square. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Dot with butter. Moisten edges, fold dough to center and pinch to seal. Place dumplings in a 9"x13" pan. Pour sauce over dumplings. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Serve with ice cream!
1. We always double the sauce or there just isn't enough.
2. The dough is a little difficult to work with. I usually add a teaspoon or two extra milk.
3. Instead of 6 large dumplings, we make 10 smaller ones, and even those end up being too big. A little goes a long way with these.
4. The dumplings will look like they are swimming. :-}

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