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Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Learning from each other

After reading Kemper Carlsen’s Plum Pie recipe in last week’s column, Beth Gilgun wrote from Warwick, saying, “I also grew up in Westchester County — Yonkers, to be exact — and my mother made this plum pie in the fall. The recipe you published is in my Betty Crocker cookbook that is dated 1969. I know it is the one my mother used prior to that time, because I compared the recipes way back when.

“There is a similar one in the Betty Crocker cookbook from the ’50s, except that recipe puts boiling water over the plums. Hope this sheds some light on the question.”

Thanks, Beth, for telling us more about that recipe!

Jeannette Fellows from Chase Hill Farm also in Warwick wrote saying, “Must have been some cosmic thing. This week I received a big box of prune plums from Ben Clark, way more than two of us could eat, but then you had this recipe in your column and I made it Wednesday night. It was yummy!”

Recently, I heard from Rita Aderhold who is originally from Colrain and now lives in Wheaton, Illinois. While visiting family this summer, Rita saw one of my columns.

Rita said, “I found the mention of the ‘SOLAR OVEN’ interesting. I’ve never seen one; perhaps you have written more specifically about these in previous articles. Is it something you made yourself or is there is a brand of solar ovens you prefer. I was really surprised it would get hot enough to cook meat.”

I explained to Rita that I bought my solar oven at the Solar Store in Greenfield after seeing Claire and John cook with one. I got one from this organization: http://solarovens.org/. There are websites with directions to make your own.

Yes, it is possible to cook meat in a solar oven, on a sunny day, in the right location and time of day. It works like a crockpot, slower/lower temperature cooking than a gas or electric stove.

I love learning from people I know and don’t know. Last week, I chatted with Laura at Ashfield Hardware about the upcoming Ashfield Fall Festival (Oct. 6 and 7, see www.ashfieldfallfestival.org) and the marvelous Hot Applesauce Sundaes the Ashfield Hardware folks serve at the Festival. She reminded me that they use their nifty apple peeling/coring/slicing contraptions to prepare the apples for the applesauce. They serve the hot applesauce over Snow’s vanilla or maple walnut ice cream with a dash of cinnamon (if you want) and a drizzle of local maple syrup. As Laura said, “Served hot on a cool fall day!” Yum!

Talking with Laura reminded me I hadn’t fully explored the new cookbooks I got at the World Eye Bookshop in August, including two cookbooks by P. Ann Pieroway. Both have great recipes and interesting tales.

Conway’s Festival of the Hills, Sunday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Main Street (Rte. 116), Conway. Famous fried dough and other tasty food, skillet toss, wood-splitting contest, parade, book signing, craft fair, art exhibit, and more. See www.festivalofthehills.com for more information.

This week we’re eating. . .

SQUASH APPLE CASSEROLE

By P. Ann Pieroway, Springfield, from her book, “A Taste of Apples and Some Tales Too: A Collection of Delicious Apple Recipes”

2 1/2 C. fresh winter squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 1/2 C. cooking apples, pared and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Alternate layers of squash and apples in an 8 x 8-inch pan, ending with apples on top layer. Sprinkle spices over top layer. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 45-60 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes to remove any excess liquid that might have accumulated. Cool slightly before serving. Serves 4.

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