Monday, November 16, 2009

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without

That’s the old New England saying that I try to live by these days, with varying degrees of success. One thing we’ve certainly been better about most of the time is food wastage. I’ve fought a battle for about 40 years now with overly-optimistic buying, especially of fruits and vegetables. Since we came to Maine and live quite near the supermarket and farmers’ markets, it’s been a bit easier not to overbuy, but it still happens occasionally.

This occurred recently when pears were on sale at the supermarket – not just pears, but all varieties, so I bought a couple of each. However, they weren’t ripe, nor were the avocados I got at the same time. After a few days in our chilly kitchen had done nothing, I found a paper bag and put them in it with a slightly elderly apple. Unfortunately I’m one of those “out of sight, out of mind” people, and although I used some Comice pears in salads, some of the pears wound up unusable. At the same time a bag of apples was beginning to have the same problems. Today I decided it was time to take action, and I tinkered with a recipe for apple crisp and made this:


10 cups mixed pears and apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I had Cortland apples, and two each of Bosc and Red pears)
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon (today, Penzey’s Indonesia Korintje cassia; cassia is what most of us think of as cinnamon)
1/2 cup water (could have done with a bit less as pears are very juicy when ripe)

1 cup quick-cooking oats (I just had “old-fashioned” oats, no problem)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (light brown)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
Place the sliced fruit in a 9x13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. (I think it works better if you combine the dry things well first, while you’re melting the butter.) Crumble evenly over the fruit mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.

This goes very well with your favorite locally-made vanilla ice cream. I’m thinking that another time, especially if I had more pears, I would experiment a little with the spices, since I think ginger goes well with pears and would add something.

1 comment:

Mompriest said...

yum. I too strive to avoid wastefulness...but often fail. Still, it is a goal. Mostly I am wasteful with left overs that we forget to eat....which means I made more food than we were going to eat. sigh.