2014/01/10

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...

Yours truly,

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.

26 comments:

  1. The Navy has taken me away from freezing temps for so long that I don't know if I could handle going back north. Sorry, but the vision of puke frozen to your car is kind of funny. You know, since it's your car and not mine. That's quite a unique problem you've got there. It's bound to thaw eventually. :-) Your apples look great!

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  2. Wait you followed the recipe Cher? These look great! I hate this flip flop weather too because I am so afraid of all the ice. Not growing up with that to worry about means I have no clue how to walk properly in temps like this, I'm always falling over :( Stay warm!

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    1. I did follow the rules, didn't I? I guess part of breaking the rules all the time means occasionally following them (I have to break my rule about breaking the rules...)

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  3. I'm tired of the cold and I can only imagine how you must be feeling. These baked apples were a nice treat on a cold evening and then again for breakfast the next day. I went on the reserve list at the library for several e-books and they all came in at the same time! I only finished Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. I liked it but also felt it was a bit pretentious so didn't love it. Now I'm back on the list for the books I didn't finish. Wish they wouldn't come in at the same time! Enjoy your spring temps Cher:)

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  4. Love how you made them in their own individual dishes!

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  5. The stories I am hearing about the cold are just crazy. I can't say that I'm sorry to be missing it. Hopefully it doesn't decide to work its way over here next.

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  6. I’m really sorry you have been having so many problems with the cold…although it’s been just as cold here…I just hibernate like the bears! Your apples look so luscious! This was a winner in my house too!

    I love Anita Shrive…I’ll have to check out Stella Bain. I just bought Goldfinch and hope to start it tomorrow! Happy weekend, Cher!! Stay warm and safe!

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  7. Beautiful apples. It sounds like you have had quite a time of it. Hang in there, it will get better:)

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  8. Dear Cher,
    I thought the North Pole only brought us Santa… what kinda of a gift is a polar vortex? We had the same snow dump, warm up thing happen in our area…really freaky… glad the apples cheered you up.

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  9. G'day Cher, Your photos and recipe look YUM, true!
    I don't care where they come from lol and would love to try one right now too!
    Cheers! Joanne

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  10. My family thought I was nuts when I started wearing my hoodie up in the house...at least it wasn't documented! Now we're getting rain...and thank goodness the HUGE icicles melted before they pulled my gutters down. Yup, I worked hard on the peeling...and made sure the one straight cut was front and center in my photo :) You're so kind to notice. Nick goes back to school tomorrow...I've stopped ironing any of his clothes since he feels the need to change at least once a day (work out clothes). Glad you liked this one, too...I know Bill will never touch mussels, so I'm making half a batch for me!

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  11. Hang in there Cher, only 68 days til Spring....BTW, your apples look great.

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  12. If you notice, I have said nothing about Colorado weather since the polar vortex visited all my Canadian and eastern/south eastern USA. Your temps make my -17 degrees below zero look like child's play. Plus, ours is a "dry" cold, yours holds humidity which makes it even worse (Yes, I have a bit of a Willard Scott in me.) Our cold and snow for Christmas was perfect for the skiers and tourist industry but I was really happy to escape the weather and head for Calli last Tuesday. I fell once more on the ice before leaving. I don't even chuckle about those falls - for me, you or anyone. I won't belabor the California temps and weather - there is a limit to my friends in cold areas good will. I will say that Calli hasn't had rain 4EVER and everything is parched and dry and there is no water. Talk about scary. A match could set off a fire that would scorch the whole central coast. I liked these delicious apples also - not the baked apples of my youth. Bet your girls and Joe loved these. Glad things are getting back to normal, or near-normal, or as close to normal as possible. Brot my mug to Calli - holds my paper clips. xoxox You didn't say you loved, loved, loved any of these books (I thot Tracy's first book was her best.) so until I get a "love", I'll pass. Betsy read about 8 books over the holidays so I hope she shared the list (or, I will.)

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  13. I'm not complaining about the rain, nope, not at all. Not with what everyone else in North America seems to be dealing with. Love the reading update and your apples look like they turned out perfectly. Your red baking dish is gorgeous, by the way!

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  14. I would trade a few hours of my 100ºF here! Melting in the street is our summer song here... Filled apples sound perfect, if I had the nerve to turn on my oven in this weather, which I don't!

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  15. Oh my. And I thought I had a tough week because I used the cider vinegar instead of cider. Wow you some not fab things go down. I already felt bad when I heard about the grocery spill and was cringing by the time I got to the sick stuff frozen on the car. We can't even dream this stuff up, right ? Well you managed to thrive nonetheless and churn out some amazing looking apples - well done YOU !! And ricotta ? Genius. Simply Genius. Mr. BU is back at school as is his younger brother and I can finally use the tv's again instead of trying to find an XBOX controller to turn them on. I need to hurry and get all house projects done before they are home on Spring break :)

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  16. You deserve to eat baked apples and read all those books after that fiasco of a week. I'm going to look up those titles you mentioned. Anyone who looks through my Kindle would think I'm fifteen.

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  17. LOL - did they come and take it back? Great looking apples - I liked this one. I will try and send some of our excess heat your way.

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  18. I think your assessment of those of use south of the Mason Dixon line in probably quite accurate! Sorry you had to much crazy during the lovely polar vortex. Glad these ended up working out well!

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  19. I hope by now the Polar Vortex has eased out a bit and that you are getting warmer!! I love snow but unfortunately we did not get any this year... seems like you got our share as well hahaha! But baked apples are perfect for this weather!

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  20. I love your addition of ricotta on the side, how comforting and decadent!

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  21. Oh my! I hope your week has gotten better! Ricotta would have also made a very good side for these! P.S. I love love love your yellow casseroles!

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  22. I got lost last week and somehow didn't spend time reading FFwD posts. I hope that the week since has improved. Certainly the polar vortex exited my neck of the woods, and it felt like spring for a few days. So screwy. Dates and cashews with cinnamon sounds like a great combination. You're making me want to make this again, even if it wasn't my favorite dessert ever. Stay warm and dry!

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  23. I'm so sorry about the falling, and the sickness, and everything else. It was very cold here for a few days, but nowhere near as cold as it was up there, and we didn't have snow. Hopefully the worst of it's over!

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  24. Oh, that is miserable. I really shouldn't complain about our warm weather right now, but I'm afraid that instead of a polar vortex we will have the summer version of it straight out of H E Double Hockey Sticks. Hope that you get some more spring like weather soon!

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  25. Looks good! I do wish we were having more of a winter this year, but I'm glad we didn't get hit with such miserable weather.

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