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Something about wind has always had an effect on me

October 28, 2010

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. All kinds of baking and cooking going on in the kitchen – apples pies, two of 'em, and apple crisp. Wild rice soup, too, with crumbled bacon, and some biscuits with cheddar cheese, and a pan of chicken enchiladas. One of those days when I couldn't stop myself, and things haven't slowed down since. I've got a stack of recipes on the counter just waiting for a stretch of hours, and the cupboards are stocked with spices and flour and sugars. Enough to keep me going awhile.

Can't explain it, really. The change of seasons is my big guess, and more specifically, the wind that's been blowing for a few days now. Something about wind has always had an effect on me, all good, and why try to explain it. What I do know is that when it picks up like it has, begins howling and swirling and carrying things with it from one yard to the next, when the trees bend and moan in the night and windows and cupboards rattle, I can't help but put on a coat and go out there and stand in it and just feel it. Feels like something alive and breathing, something with purpose and intent, something wild. And when it blows so hard I lose my balance, when it takes my breath away, well, that's my kind of windy day.

It's pretty easy to settle into a comfortable swing of things, and what I like about a good windstorm is how it's unreasonable and doesn't have much regard for silly human things like the enormous potted flowers by the door, or the neatly stacked woodpile, or a person's plans for the leaves. It's random in its ways, and a good reminder that life isn't all about order and perfection. Good hair days are rare for a reason, people. And don't blame the wind if your stuff is all over. Maybe you have too much of it. Think of it as a breath of fresh air, Minnesota style. Get on out there and let Mother Nature give you a great big hug. The wind won't be here long, and while it is, give it a chance to lift you up and move you around a bit. Maybe you'll get it in you to cook up a pot of stew, and tear down, once and for all, that fence you keep putting back up. Maybe you'll dance a while. Maybe you'll just stand there and feel something wild and breathtaking for the first time in a good long while.

If you don't have a crock pot, go next door and borrow one. This is one comfort food you don't want to not make this fall. In fact, a crock pot full of baked apples would make a fine gift for someone you love.

Baked Apples

2 T golden raisins
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp lemon zest
6 small to medium baking apples, washed and cored
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 T butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water

Mix together in a small bowl the raisins, sugar and lemon zest. Fill the core of each apple with the raisins and sugar.

Place the apples in a crock pot or slow cooker and sprinkle with the cinnamon and dot with butter. Pour the orange juice and water over the apples. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Remove the apples from the sauce and place in individual bowls. Top with the remaining sauce.

Enjoy!

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