Sunday, March 31, 2013

A to Z Challenge: A is for Apple Pie

The pie should be eaten "while it is yet florescent, white or creamy yellow, with the merest drip of candied juice along the edges, (as if the flavor were so good to itself that its own lips watered!) of a mild and modest warmth, the sugar suggesting jelly, yet not jellied, the morsels of apple neither dissolved nor yet in original substance, but hanging as it were in a trance between the spirit and the flesh of applehood...then, O blessed man, favored by all the divinities! eat, give thanks, and go forth, 'in apple-pie order!'”
Henry Ward Beecher

A really good apple pie recipe, mostly approximations:

Prebake your bottom pie crust for about 10 minutes at 400°.  While it's baking, slice five apples.

Mix 1/2c sugar with as much cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove as you like (we like a lot!).  Layer the apples in the pie crust and sprinkle with the sugar mixture.

Cut two tablespoons of butter into small cubes and tuck those in and among the apples.

Mix 1/3 c sugar with 1 c finely chopped pecans.  Cut 6 tablespoons of butter into the mix. You can also add more spices to this, if you want, and drop it by spoonfuls on top of the pie.

Bake the whole thing at 400° for 10 minutes, then lower the temp to 350° for 35 minutes or so, until the apples are the right texture for your liking.

Make sure you cover the edges of the pie crust with foil if it starts to get too dark.  

Today is

APAWS International Pooper Scooper week -- The Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists believe every dog should have its day, but not on someone else's lawn!

April Fool's Day  a/k/a Huntingowk Day or Gowkie Day in Scotland, because an April Fool is called a gowk; in England it is All Fools Day or April Noddy Day, as an April fool is a "noddy"

Azalea Festival -- Muskogee, OK, US (month long celebration with citywide events throughout)

Capture of Brielle Remembrance -- Brielle, Netherlands

Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia -- Philadelphia, PA, US (in conjunction with the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia; through the 23rd)

Civil Service Day -- Thailand

Community Spirit Days -- an open invitation, all month long, for any town or community to involve itself in a special service project

Day of Hathor -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

Dia Feriado Con Fines Turisticos -- Argentina (Public Holiday for Tourism)

Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day -- won't that be a fun April Fool's Joke, because we know your decision

Easter Monday -- Christian; related observances
     Dyngus Day
     Egg Races -- Rural Northwestern Switzerland (traditional Easter Monday races with competitors carrying large numbers of eggs from village to village)
     Emaishen -- Luxembourg (traditional market)
     Family Day -- South Africa
     Hallaton Hare Pie Scramble & Bottle Kicking -- Hallaton, Leicestershire, England (traditional celebrations dating back at least 600 years)
     Sham el-Nessim -- Egypt (Smell the Breezes Day, a spring celebration for all religions; celebrated by getting outside, greeting neighbors, enjoying spring, and eating salty raw fish)

Edible Book Day -- Sponsored by the Edible Book Festival, Austin, TX, US (celebrating books and culinary creativity by making edible representations of books, then eating them)

Fossil Fools Day -- part of the conservationist movement of many organizations that want us to decrease reliance on fossil fuels and stop corporate polluters

Greek Cypriot Day -- Cyprus (EOKA Day)

International Tatting Day

Investiture of the New Captains Regent -- San Marino (sometimes listed as National Day)

Islamic Republic Day -- Iran

Kalends of April -- Ancient Roman Empire; also
     Festival of Fortuna Virilis -- Fortune in her role of bringing luck to women who want better relationships with men
     Veneralia -- ritual yearly washing of the statue of Venus

Kha b-Nisan -- Assyrians (traditional New Year celebration)

Loki's Day -- by some calculations, but more likely it was moved to this date to celebrate the trickster of all time on the trickiest day of the year

Miyako Odori -- Kobu Kaburenjo Theatre, Kyoto, Japan ("Dance of the Old Capital", the highly anticipated geisha dance and music festival, through the 30th)

Mule Day Celebrations -- Colombia, TN, US (the "mule capital of the world" has mule shows, entertainment, dancing and music, food, and fun; through Sunday)

National Sourdough Bread Day

Orissa Day -- Orissa, India

One Cent Day -- no history on this, just noted on several sites

Pigasus Award Announcement Day -- by James Randi, awarded to parapsychological, paranormal or psychic frauds

Reading is Funny Day -- a day to read riddles, jokes, and fun things with kids to show them how great reading can be

School Year Begins -- Japan, most schools and universities

Sizdeh Be-dar -- Iran (Nature Day, an ancient Persian celebration to get out and joyfully spend the day outdoors)

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival -- Skagit Valley, WA, US; through the 30th

Sorry Charlie Day -- a day to recognize Charlie the Tuna, always rejected but never giving up, and anyone who has ever been rejected and lived to tell about it

St. Gilbert de Moray's Day (Patron of Caithness, Scotland)

St. Stupid's Day (First Church of the Last Laugh)

Tater Day -- Benton, KY, US (old fashioned family fun centered around the sweet potato, with a parade, a mule pull, a carnival and more)

The Masters Tournament -- the matchup for the Green Jacket is always the first week of April

Tree Loving Week begins -- South Korea (always the week that includes April 5, their Arbor Day)

Uzupis Day -- Uzupis District, Vilnius, Lithuania

Anniversary Today:

Nunavut becomes Canada's third independent territory, 1999

Birthdays Today:

Randy Orton, 1980
Susan Boyle, 1961
Ali MacGraw, 1938
Gordon Jump, 1932
Debbie Reynolds, 1932
Anne McCaffrey, 1926
Toshiro Mifune, 1920
Abraham Maslow, 1908
Clara "Mother" Hale, 1905
Lon Chaney, 1883
Sergei Rachmaninoff, 1873
Otto von Bismarck, 1815
William Harvey, 1578
Emperor Go-Saga of Japan, 1220

Today in History:
The ruins of the city of Pompeii are found, 1748
Japan's volcano Unsen erupts, killing about 53,000, 1793
Samuel Morey patents the internal combustion engine, 1826
Cincinnati becomes the first US city to pay firefighters, 1853
Singapore, Penang & Malakka become British crown colonies, 1867
The London-Paris telephone connection is opened, 1891
The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago, Illinois, 1891
The Royal Air Force is created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, 1918
The Royal Canadian Air Force is formed, 1924
Generalisimo Frederico Franco announces the end of the Spanish Civil War, 1939
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands creates a tsunami that strikes Hawai'i, killing 159, 1946
The twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State become the Republic of Ireland, 1949
The Canadian government repeals Japanese Canadian internment after seven years, 1949
The BBC broadcasts the spaghetti tree hoax on its current affairs programme Panorama, 1957
Project Tiger, a tiger conservation program, is launched in the Corbett National Park, India, 1973
Apple Inc. is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, 1976
The Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia is created, 1996
Comet Hale-Bopp is seen passing over perihelion, 1997
Nunavut is established as a Canadian territory carved out of the eastern part of the Northwest Territories, 1999
Croatia and Albania join NATO, 2009


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  2. the child has no school today---how much would I ROCK if I baked this with her?! :)

  3. What an Incredable and Xtremely Awesome definition [sp] of a pie.

  4. oh yes yummy apple pie will make any great day even better! Lovely recipe! Have a grat day!

  5. Ok, now I'm hungry... ;)

    Sounds like you will get the A to Z quite well this way!


  6. There are few things in life better than a hot apple pie fresh from the oven. Yum.

  7. Carla, that rocks big time.

    John, the man had a way with words -- that's probably why he was a preacher.

    Kathe, pie tends to do that.

    Cat, i hope so; you are a veteran, so i know you will do a great job.

    Stephen, you are right, and i hope you get to have some soon.

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  9. Great way to describe an apple pie! :D

    Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Mimi and apple pie, what could be more American?

  11. Hello. I always use Granny Smith apples and cook them a few minutes before making the pie with them. That way they are not so firm that they don't eat well. Also, I add a few raisins instead of the nuts. Oh, and sometimes, if I just want a quick taste of apple, I peel a Granny Smith, cut it into about sixteen slices, add a bit of sugar and butter, cinnamon and a teaspoon of water, put it all in a bowl and covering it, pop it into the microwave for about four minutes, then remove it and add a bit of vanilla ice cream. YUM! Try it, you'll like it. :) Your friend, Ruby

  12. You had me at "morsels of apple". Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love me some apple pie, but it always seems a little too adventurous to make. I can do this.