Thursday, January 13, 2011

By Hand

A few days ago I bought a bag of apples at my local supermarket. They were Spartans, which are usually nice and crunchy. These, however, turned out to be mealy with thick skins. Not very nice. When life hands you bad apples, what do you do? Make applesauce. I washed them, sliced them up, leaving the skin on for flavour, and cooked them slowly in a covered pot with about half an inch of water. Talk about a great aroma throughout the house! Then I put them through my old-fashioned hand-cranked food mill. This is a case of old technology doing a better job than new. If I'd used a food processor, I'd have had to peel the apples first, losing all that flavour and nutrition. Sometimes the old ways are still the best.
The same holds true in fibre arts. Usually I wind skeins of yarn using my wool winder and swift. But today, I'm working with Peace Fleece. This Russian/Romanian/American yarn is 70 % merino and 30% mohair and it comes in colourways of such gorgeous depth that they're hard to capture with my camera. It's a bargain too. I'm playing around with "Siberian Midnight", shown here.

This wool is so beautiful to handle and look at, I just had to wind it by hand. Here's my finished centre-pull ball. I took the photo in the snow and in the grey morning light the background completely disappeared.

Back into the kitchen, where I turned some of the cooled applesauce into this.

                                                         Applesauce Coffee Cake

1 1/2 c. unbleached flour
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 c. non-fat plain yogourt
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
Mix everything together and pour into a greased 9-inch square pan (or line the pan with parchment paper as I did). Bake about 45 min at 350 F. or until the centre feels firm when pressed lightly. 
When cool, cut into 16 slices.
Tastes divinely moist and full of apple flavour.