Here in New England in November the temperatures tend to hover somewhere in the fifty degree range which makes it just crispy enough to wear a light jacket but not so cold that it is necessary to bundle up completely. Going for a walk is pleasant as the sun shines and the breeze creates a ruby nose ski-tan look that everyone is still able to see because every inch of skin is not yet hidden under down jackets, scarves, hats, mittens and goggles.
This past week we entered into a cold snap akin to the temperatures in January where the mid day high was not really making it out of the thirties. Damn climate change.
So what does a summer loving, need to be barefoot as much as possible, warmth craving, and environmentally conscious gal do without turning the heat up to eighty in the apartment? I re-introduce myself to exercise and the oven. Though not simultaneously of course, that is just dangerous and would require a level of coordination I definitely do not possess.
As you all know Rock Band is quickly becoming my favorite evening activity -- I am priding myself on the fact that I can now pull off scores in the ninety percent range with the level set to Hard and I am starting to actually get the drums in more ways than just hitting the corresponding pad when little boxes of color scroll across the screen. The pads correspond to a real drum kit so not only do I get which pad is associated with which sound (bass drum, snare, cymbal, cowbell, high hat, etc) but I am beginning to feel the rhythm of the songs I play. My arms are flailing about, my right leg is in seemingly constant motion and my core body temperature goes up as I pound away. Many may say this is not exercise but I challenge them to try playing on Hard level for an hour and then let me know how their arms and calf feel the next morning. It is energizing to play rock 'n roll but more importantly, keeping me toasty warm.
Another thing that rocks is channeling the life of a bear. Again, everyone knows how I plan to come back as a Grizzly in my next life because of their play all summer, eat as much as possible then sleep all winter lifestyle. Man that is like a dream come true. So I figure why not get a little bit in touch with that now and start packing it on so I can survive what is clearly shaping up to be a cold ass winter in Boston.
Matt is laughing at me because (and I am the first to admit) I am not what one would typically call domestic but as of late my oven has been firing up some pretty tasty treats and adding joyous warmth into the apartment (not to mention intoxicating smells!). Some of my favorites are homemade sauce which I then used to make lasagna, mashed potatoes, chicken soup from scratch (we cooked a whole bird and I used the bone, veggies and drippings to create the soup), banana bread and of course my specialty desert apple cranberry pie.
Fall just lends itself to cinnamon and brown sugar, apples and cranberries, fatty deliciousness. I want to share the recipe with all of you because the big Turkey day is almost upon us and if you are looking for something super yummy to compliment the meal but do not know what to bring this is definitely a winner! Happy eating, I plan to be either drumming or comatose until spring.
Apple Cranberry Pie
Two 9” pie pastry crusts (or enough home made dough to make them)
3/4 Cup brown sugar (not tightly packed)
1/3 Cup flour
4 Cups apples sliced or chunked (I use Cortland or Gala, sometimes McIntosh)
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 Cup white sugar
1 Tsp cinnamon
2 Cups frozen cranberries
1/2 Tsp cinnamon sugar mix
Preheat oven to 425
Coat pie pan with butter using wax paper to spread & sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture (leave some if you want to use it on the top of the pie as well)
Combine sugars, flour and cinnamon & mix well
Add fruit, thoroughly coat all of it
Place one crust in pan and turn fruit in, distribute leftover dry mix across evenly
Top crust and dot with butter (sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture)
Seal edges with a fork & cut slits in top, remove excess dough from sides
Bake with crust shield for 30 minutes
Remove shield, bake additional 10 minutes or until golden and mixture is bubbling
Let cool slightly and enjoy with a warm cup of tea and cold scoop of ice cream