Thursday, August 26, 2010
Ahh...back to school, back to school, to prove to my daddy that I ain't no fool. Nothing beats the tax free hustle and bustle of shopping insanity during the days leading up to school. It feels weird no longer being a student. As I watch everyone board the buses, and enter the classrooms I feel as if I am missing out. Have I really learned all that I need to know about life and the world? Is this as big as my brain is going to get? Please Lord, say it ain't so. I was looking at an old college paper I wrote over six years ago...boy did I sound smart back then...and what exactly was I trying to say? Not too sure. It seems as college becomes more and more of a fading memory my brain becomes more and more a fading faculty. I have tried to continue my education on my own, but without deadlines, or professors looming over me I have no motivation to continue. I have however, continued to grow in my knowledge of all things food. Although food is important and vital to all humans, it doesn't seem as lofty and intellectual as I wish it did. I will continue to research, cook, and write with the hopes of stretching my mind a little more every day.
Now where was I... ahh yes, back to school. I love that apples are the traditional gift for teachers. After working at a few schools I think it is funny that most teachers just let the apples rot on their desks and then chucked them. Poor apples, they never saw it coming. There are a few theories as to why apples are associated with teachers:
1) In grammar school students are taught, "A is for Apple"...so if you give a teacher an apple, you will get an A...and are therefore known as a "teacher's pet"
2) Zen reason: Apples are seen as a symbol of variety, change and growth. It symbolizes change and variety because it comes in different colors such as green yellow and red. Apple trees without love and care cannot grow...just like a child needs love and care to grow.
3) During the 16th - 18th century in various countries parents would pay educators with foods like fruits. Teachers did not make enough money and needed all the help they could get. To help them with their basic needs, parents gave the teachers of their children potatoes and apples. Back in the day apples were considered special and expensive because fruits were difficult to plant, cultivate, and harvest.
4) The Biblical background is that apples came from the "tree of knowledge", so if you eat an apple you instantly get smarter.
fyi...that whole saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is totally bogus. I eat lots of apples and still go to the doctor...someone should really argue that point in court one day.
Onto the recipe part of this post. Applesauce bread. I usually make this more into the apple season, but it fit in so well with my back to school apple theme I just couldn't wait any longer.
(I hate not giving credit where it is due, but I really can't remember where I found this recipe...sorry person who invented this)
In large bowl mix the following with a whisk until smooth and combined:
1 stick of butter melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 2/3 cup applesauce (I made my own applesauce, which is easy, but the store bought kind works too)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk into the above:
In small bowl whisk together and then add to the wet ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup raisins, currants, or any dried fruit you like
Stir until just combined. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.