English novelist and poet Dinah Craik got it right when she wrote “a way to an Englishman’s heart is through his stomach.” This adage that finds it’s origin in her 1857 book, John Halifax, Gentleman, definitely rings true for my husband. Jim never ceases to tell me how much appreciates my good (and not-so-good cooking), especially when I surprise him with an unexpected evening treat.
This season of life has been tough on Jim. Two car accidents and triple hernia surgery have interrupted his active life and interfered with his normal routine with a vengeance. Thankfully, none of these events have been life threatening. Nevertheless, old-fashioned TLC continues to be the order of the day. And yes, we are using food for comfort!
Trying to provide something healthy and fun can be a challenge. This simple dish of apples covered with oats bubbling hot from the oven and topped with ice cream fit the bill nicely.
I couldn’t resist bringing a bag of apples home for sauce since Earth Fare had them on sale this week. I thought I was making applesauce in the crockpot to freeze, but I definitely under-estimated how much sauce I would get. One bag of apples does not a whole lot of applesauce make. Instead of freezing such a small batch, I decided to turn the cooked apples into this fruit crisp. Happily, I ended up with leftover applesauce for a future side dish
1 1/2 cups of rolled oats
1 tbsp. of butter, slightly softened
1 tbsp. of pure maple syrup
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1 bag of Gala apples
1 1/2 cups of crockpot applesauce (see directions below)
Directions for fruit crisp:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl cut 1 tablespoon of butter into 1 cup of rolled oats.
- In another small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of rolled oats with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or 1 tablespoon of butter, the maple syrup is for me).
- In an oven safe, cereal size bowl, spoon 1 cup of applesauce and top with the 1 cup of the rolled oats with butter. (This one’s for Jim.)
- In an oven safe, small dessert or fruit bowl, spoon 1/2 cup of applesauce and top with the 1/2 cup of rolled oats mixed with maple syrup. (This one’s for me.)
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Drizzle with maple syrup or top with ice cream. Or not, depending on your diet!
Directions for applesauce:
- Core, peel, and dice a bag of apples. I think my bag had about 8 apples. Not sure, sorry. More or less really doesn’t matter that much.
- Spray crockpot with non-stick spray. Place apples in crockpot.
- Add cinnamon and about 1/4 cup of water. No need to add sugar. The Gala apples are sweet enough to make this dessert tasty.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until apples are very tender and “mashable.”
- Mash up apples to the consistency of your liking. I prefer this sauce to be pretty chunky.
Sorry the image of the book cover is a little muddled. I am rather tempted to read it, though!
One more thought . . . This morning I met with the Executive Director of LoveLife Marriage Ministries to discuss writing and formatting curriculum. One thing we talked about was what constitutes a strong marriage. For me, Jim’s compliments on my cooking and other things I do are a great encouragement. Let’s remember to find the good in each other and tell them.
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
Pg. 622 (Proverbs):
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
Dinah Mulock, John Halifax, Gentleman (1857). Mulock’s wording is “the way to an Englishman’s heart is through his stomach.”