Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Sweetheart Special~Recipes from the Valentines Banquet

It is March but I am yet blogging February. Life has been such a wonderful albeit exhausting swirl of youth activity and I'm thankful for it all, for I know the day will come when the house will be too quiet. Love, love, love these teenagers!

Like last year I oversaw a great staff of cooks. We prepared all the food during three afternoon shifts and served it, again sans kitchen, to 50 adults, mostly parents of the youth.

While we busied ourselves in our makeshift kitchen, other costumed youth served the food and provided some very entertaining entertainment. Most notable was a previously filmed Jack Benny spoof with the youth acting to the dubbed in radio program. It was perfect! And, I only had one minor correction for Active Son/Sound Technician: Supertramp was a 70's band, not a 50's band. He had no idea--it just sounded like "old" music to him.

Our menu, based on our 50's theme, wasn't as elaborate as last year's Italian menu but the youth did a great job of preparing the food and we received a few recipe requests from the moms.

The Sweetheart Special

Soft Sliced White Bread
Not-Your-Mom's Coleslaw
Peanut Dressing
Mom's Meatloaf
Twice Baked Potatoes
Sauteed Green Beans
Mom's Apple Pie
Tea or Coffee

For the salad we combined:

Curly kale (sometimes called Chinese cabbage)
Carrots, coarsely grated
Yellow and red bell peppers, julienned

No specific quantities: I was buying vegetables for 50 so just bought what seemed the right quantity, and thankfully, it was. I'm sure what elicited the recipe requests was the peanut salad dressing, provided by Martha Stewart.com

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup salted peanuts
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Puree 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup salted peanuts, 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in a blender until smooth.

The most requested recipe was for Mom's Apple Pie aka The Only Apple Pie Recipe I've Ever Made And I Learned It From Fanny Farmer. I've always thought it to be a basic apple pie recipe--no special ingredients or anything. I'm guessing that the "secret" that people asked me about is in the slicing of the apples--the youth, upon my insistence, sliced them oh so very thin. Overheard in the kitchen from one of the youth: "Cut them thinner or she'll send them back."

"Pidy, Widy, Tidy, Pidy, Nice insidy apple pie!"

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping
6-8 large Granny Smith apples (about 10 cups)
3/4-1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 Tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Toss them in the sugar/spice/salt mixture, coating them well. Pile them into a prepared pie crust. Top with crumb topping and place in the oven. Bake 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees F and bake about 40 minutes longer--or until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork.

Hint: Place pie on a baking/cookie sheet before placing in the oven in case bubbling apple goodness spills over from the pie pan.

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 pound (1/2 cup) butter, chilled

Mix the sugar and flour until blended. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.

The recipe for the pie crust is here.


Jodi said...

The inside of that pie is gorgeous, and I bet it tasted fabulous.

Teri said...

I thought the same thing - that pie! Beautiful.

And I love you quotes on the blog. How perfect.

Jodi said...

Hi, I made your apple pie the other night. I will never make apple pie any other way again. It was fabulous! We had company over for dinner and they raved.

Quotidian Life said...

I'm so glad you and your guests enjoyed it, Jodi. Sahtayn! (Double your health in Arabic.)