Everyday Mom's Meals: Autumn Traditions

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Autumn Traditions

 Anyone who knows me, even a little, knows I am a summer for life kinda girl. It could be 85 and sunny 365 days a year, and I would be thrilled. In fact, the hotter the better. In our family, you never hear complaints about hot summers because as my husband says "You don't have to shovel sunshine!" 

And while I'm not one of those people who welcome fall with open arms, I do in fact, love fall decor, activities, food, football, pumpkins, apples, and so many other things it brings with it. For example, these super simple apple dumplings that have been a staple in our family for decades. 

Like so many other of our favorite recipes, these come from my Grammy. She has made these for so long, I can't remember an autumn without them. When I was growing up, her and my Popeye would come to Indiana to visit for a few days. Since both of my parents worked, and I had school, Grammy had the kitchen to herself for the day. We would come home to the best smells, and tons of yummy things she spent the day baking. These were always what I looked forward to most. 

As the years went by and those visits weren't possible anymore, Grammy will celebrate her 96th birthday in a few months, we were blessed with apple dumpling care packages. Yep, she found a way to make them, freeze them and send them home with mom and dad when they visited to share with us. (I of course shared the tip about freezing below.)

These couldn't be simpler, even if you're not like me and can pull a batch from the freezer, thaw, add the sauce and bake. To make them from scratch is still pretty darn easy. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, go for it, but I've used the ones from the freezer section many times and they work just fine. The star of these for me, is definitely the sauce. If I could have it in an IV injected into my veins, I would!

Oh, and if we're talking about Grammy's apple dumplings, I have to tell this funny story too. All my life, I have eaten these warm with some cold milk poured down over the top. I learned from my dad, and he learned from Popeye. It was years before I learned why we do this. See, one morning years ago, Grammy caught Popeye having an apple dumpling for breakfast. She couldn't believe it. He quickly explained to her "If I pour milk on top, it is a breakfast food." And so the tradition began. (We also eat strawberry shortcake this way, for the same reason!) My husband thinks we are crazy, but I've passed the tradition onto my kids, so it will live on! 

If you're planning on apple picking this fall, be sure to add these to your baking list when you bring your bushel home. I hope they become a part of other families' fall time traditions for years to come.  

Easy Apple Dumplings 

4 Golden Delicious Apples
4 TBS butter
Brown Sugar
2-3 ready to bake pie crusts (or your favorite)
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2- 2 c. water
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 TBS butter

Preheat oven to 375. Core and peel apples. Cut in half. Cut 4 circles out of each pie crust.  Place each apple on a dough circle and add 1 TBS butter, sprinkle w/ brown sugar and cinnamon. Fold edges up over apple and pinch to assure they are sealed. Place in a baking dish. To prepare sauce, combine first 5 sauce ingredients and boil over medium-low heat. Once boiling, add the butter and keep boiling until melted. Pour over dumplings and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it cools. *NOTES* After the dumplings are made, you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw out and proceed with sauce and baking when ready. This recipes makes eight, but can easily be adapted for more, as seen in the photo.

Shared at Weekend Potluck 

Shared at Meal Plan Monday

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