Dear North Pole... (French Fridays with Dorie: Baked Apples filled with Fruits & Nuts)
An open letter to my friends to the far, far North:
Dear North Pole,
I think you lost something. Would you please come and take back your polar vortex?
I know its only a couple of weeks after the "big holiday" and every one up there is probably vacationing on some warm sunny beach in a tropical location, but surely someone is still on duty who could help us out. Right?
The water pipes in my house would be really grateful. They don't do so well in sub-zero weather with even more ridiculous wind chills. They kind of freeze up and stop working - which really stresses me out.
Oh, and if you are going to dump a foot of snow on my house, please don't let it be 40F and raining the next day and then drop back to sub-zero just hours later. I am a bit of a klutz and that combination is sure to result in a situation where my feet slide out from under me while I am carrying a bag full of food - resulting in me landing on my backside and wearing that bag of food. Oh, wait. That actually happened...
And another thing...these cold temperatures are not helpful when one's child decides to be sick on the outside of my car. Have you ever tried washing that stuff off when the mercury drops below zero? Cleaners have a way of freezing on top of the original mess - not pretty, not pretty. Of course, the car wash is out of the question (at least if you ever want to open the car doors anytime before March). And hosing down the garage floor is out of the question too, unless I want a skating rink in my garage, of course (which I don't).
I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but its been a rough couple of weeks and all I really want is to be warm. So, if you would be so kind to come on down and collect your missing item we would be ever so grateful. I am pretty sure that all my friends south of the Mason-Dixon line would be equally as thankful for your assistance in this matter as well. I think they might even be less equipped to handle the cold. Come July, I might want your Vortex to come back and visit us for a couple of days, but until then...
One cold NY State Resident
On the bright side, it is a balmy 13F this morning. It almost feels like spring. Seriously....
Fortunately, this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe was perfect for curling up with on a cold winter's night.
Apples were cored (but not all the way through), partially peeled and filled with butter, honey, dates, cashews and cinnamon. Baked in a little bit of water and butter - basted every so often to make sure the apples stayed soft and juicy.
It didn't feel like these needed much embellishment - a spoonful of lightly sweetened ricotta was all that was needed to finish these off. It was great - the essence of apple pie but with hardly any of the work. A mug of something mulled would have gone well with these too...
In other news, Runner Girl goes back to school Wednesday. The house is going to be a whole lot quieter (and my laundry quota will see significant reduction). Please don't feel too bad for me - I am sure other form of life craziness will pop in to fill the void.
These cold days have been perfect for curling up with a few books. Latest on the list: The Lady & The Unicorn (liked) and Burning Bright (so-so) (Tracy Chevalier) and Stella Bain (liked) (Anita Shreve). I am currently working my way through Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures. I really had no plans to read so many books by the same author, but they all seemed to become available from the library system at the same time.
Stay warm where ever you are, my friends!
Peace out. XOXO
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. The recipe for baked apples found with fruits and nuts can be found here on the Serious Eats site.