Friday, October 9, 2009


Exchange at the farmers market last week:

Me: (picking through apples on display, filling two baskets with them)

Fruit Guy: I also have a different variety in the truck, which I'm only supposed to sell by the crate because they were picked a week ago, but I'll give you a few if you want.

Me: Well, how much is a crate?

Fruit Guy: $4

Me: For a whole crate?? (Regaining haggling composure, resetting poker face) Ahem, how much can you do for two baskets and a crate?

Fruit Guy: Eh, I'd take $6 for all of it.

Me: (Screw haggling!) OKAY! Sold!

Moral of the story: In upstate New York, in the fall, they are practically giving apples away.

So on Wednesday when I went to Boyfriend's mom's house with his two sisters for our weekly "Craft Night," I brought the crate of apples (and an extra bag full). We peeled and chopped all of them (and I almost sliced the top of my thumb off). Then we put them in a huge stock pot with about an inch of apple cider covering the bottom. We cooked them down a little, added a cup or so of brown sugar, cooked them down a little more, added cinnamon, nutmeg, and a few tablespoons of lemon juice, remembered to add a pinch of salt, and eventually...we had apple sauce!

Boyfriend's mom let it keep simmering on the stove after we left. The plan was to put it in jars for each of us, but I'm not sure whether she decided to go through the whole canning process and seal them. It will probably get eaten too quickly to be worth it.

Next week: grape juice!

Maple-Glazed Pork Loin, Green Beans, Roasted Potatoes

So Boyfriend bought pretty much an entire pig's ass the last time he went to the farmers market. (He really liked the "Meat Guy"). So we had to cook some serious pork this week.

I had Boyfriend trim most of the fat from the pork loin the night before last (which I should have left the kitchen for--my kitchen cleanliness anxiety combined with his propensity for messes is a bad combo).

The I put it in my slow cooker, covered it in salt, a LOT of pepper, a little chili pepper, and maple syrup. I threw in a couple cubes of frozen chicken stock for liquid and put a couple tablespoons of butter on top. Then I put the whole thing in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I took it out, set it to cook on low, and went to work.

When I got home, I washed and sliced up some red potatoes and one small red onion in little chunks. I put them in a baking dish and tossed them with a scoop of mayonnaise (not homemade, but it's not hard to make: look!), salt, pepper, rosemary, and a little dill. I roasted them at 375, watched the latest episode of Glee, then added a grated clove of garlic and turned it up to 400. After 10-15 more minutes they were done.

Meanwhile, just after I turned the oven temperature up, I got out some green beans I had frozen last week and sauteed them in a pan with a little olive oil, salt, and another grated clove of garlic.

While the beans were cooking, I put about 3-4 tablespoons of maple syrup in a small sauce pan with about a mouthful of apple cider (but, as Grandpa would say, don't measure it that way), black pepper, and a decent amount of chili pepper. Trust me on the maple and chili pepper thing. I set it on high and let it cook down into a kind of glaze (which took no time at all).

Finally, I dished everything up, spooned the glaze over top of the pork, and ate! Though I did pause to bring a serving of everything to Boyfriend at work before I even ate any. Because I am the Best. Girlfriend. Ever. I shall be lauded with praise and gifts and baubles of all kinds. Hmm.

Anyway, it was delicious.

Again, trust me on the maple and chili thing. If that's too daring for you, take a baby step with maple and black pepper--an excellent pairing on its own.