Happy Birthday Mom! Let's Eat Apple Crisp!
Today my Mom is turning 66. I could focus on how it will be the last birthday we will have with her, or I could reflect on some positive moments we've shared in the past. I will pick the latter, thank you very much!
I think my love of fall comes from my mom's birthday being in September. We would always usher in the fall season with exciting birthday trips to Hartland Apple Orchard in Markham, VA, followed by apple cider donuts at The Apple House in Linden, VA. We would pile into the station wagon and mom would allow us to pop up the hatch and dangle our feet out the back as we drove 1 mile an hour around the orchard. Between her yelling at us not to fall out (or push each other out), and laughing when I would inevitably get stuck in, or tumble out of a tree (because my sister would shove me), it always felt like a real celebration. In the end, my mom got put to work making apple pies and apple sauces and whatever else she could think of, because none of us knew how to bake anything.
My sister, dad, and I went last week to do just that. We definitely ate too many donuts, and picked too many apples, so now we have to make the best recipe of (f)all - APPLE CRISP!
My sister has been in town the past week and so we were able to make this all together. I think that doing an activity is the best way to get over how depressing a holiday or birthday can be when dealing with dementia. We will go visit her today, and while she may not be up to eating what we made, we have something positive to associate with this typically difficult day. We had a lot of fun and got to reminisce all the times my mom made this for us, helping to remember her as she was when she was well.
Twila's Apple Crisp
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sifted flour (we used buckwheat but I've also used wheat and almond flours)
1/2 cup rolled oats
approx 10 large baking apples (we used Greening variety from Hartland Orchard but Granny Smith is probably just as good!), pared and sliced
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
To start out, pare your apples. This is time consuming, so get a sister, or other person to help you. Also get your professional photographer husband to photograph the entire ordeal! Thanks Nathan!
Next, slice them. Put them in a large glass baking dish that has been greased (we had to use a few because we only had smaller ones).
Pop everything else into a mixing bowl and blend using your hands or a spoon until crumbly.
Spread this mixture over the apples. You can alternatively coat the apples in cinnamon FIRST making them extra tasty, then spread the mixture on top. Either way its delicious. If you don't feel like there's enough topping, because that's what we really want to eat at the end of the day, make more. It's up to you! That's the nice thing about baking.
BAKE this dish at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes until browned on the top.
It's best when served warm with vanilla ice cream, or just cream. ALSO don't forget to put on your apron until after you spilled butter on your shirt, like I did.
And VOILA! You are done. Now eat this out of a bowl. Be careful - it's hot!