Victoria’s Vegetarian Victuals

Well, just when we thought that it was going to be a life sentence, the snow is gone. Of course, we did have a vicious ice storm after that, and the countryside suffered with many trees and even a few houses lost. Wires were down, and services were out.

But now the trees are flowering, and the lawn is green and awash with dandelions. Let me say this about dandelions. In the suburbs, homeowners fight dandelions as though they were demonic, but up here, a sloping green meadow brushed with these humble little yellow flowers is a lovely sight indeed. We didn’t invite them to our lawn, but they are welcome to stay. There are wild dogwood trees in our woods, too.

It’s a little tricky walking back there, and Mom makes me wear my red jacket and a hardhat, just in case I:

  1. Run into some idiot poacher that thinks my red head is the backside of a deer. We do hear shots from time to time. All of our cats are "in" kitties, and we always bring the dogs in, too, when we hear the shooting. Stupidity ought to be illegal.
  2. Have some chunk of ice–damaged tree fall on me. There are great chunks of broken trunks and huge branches hanging in the boughs, impossible to reach, and called "widow-makers."

Hamilton Farmer’s Market opened the first week in May, and we went over there to look around. We have a booth this year, but it has nothing to do with foods.

We did see some wonderful produce, though. There are apples as big as a baby’s head, and strawberries any two of which would fill you right up. I love the smell of fresh fruit in the sun.

And they had honey, in little jars shaped like bears. I looked for the maple sugar candy, but didn’t see it. Maybe they’ll have it next week.

At any rate, all those beautiful apples and strawberries gave me some ideas, which I now pass on to you.

Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Bars

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg or substitute
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup apple juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped peeled apples

Soak the raisins in the apple juice concentrate for 30 minutes. Spray 8" square pan with vegetable spray (or use non-stick pan) Stir together dry ingredients. Add apples and toss to coat. Stir together all wet ingredients. Pour wet stuff into the dry, fold together just to evenly moisten the dry ingredients. Spread this thick batter into the prepared 8" pan; bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

  • Yields: 16 bars
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Apple Crunch

  • 2/3 cup of nine-grain cereal (sold in bulk)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • Pinch salt
  • Granny Smith or Pippin apple, diced (un-peeled)

Bring to a boil: 1 cup of water, 1/2-cup apple juice, and a pinch of salt. Then mix in 2/3 cup of that nine-grain cereal (sold in bulk). After about a minute of cooking, stir in one large Granny Smith or Pippin apple, diced (un-peeled). Cook about five more minutes and top with cinnamon-sugar I think this tastes like some kind of whole-grain hot apple pie batter.

  • Yields: 1 or 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: About half an hour

Apple Crunch Cobbler

  • 1 cup instant oatmeal
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple
  • 1 egg or substitute
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder

Cut the apple into bite sized pieces. Mix together everything except the apples. Put a thin layer (1/8-1/4") of mixture on the bottom of a non-stick or greased round pan. Put apples on top of this. Then spread, plop, drop or get the rest of the mix on top of the apples someway. Then bake at 350F. I baked it for 25 minutes but it made the apples really mushy so next time. Bake it for 15-17 minutes.

  • Yields: 1 8-9" pan
  • Preparation Time: about an hour

Fancy Apple Cake

  • 2 egg whites or 1 egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon fresh ground nutmeg to taste
  • 3 large apples
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 4 T. skim milk (or water)
  • Cinnamon to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix egg, sugar and milk in medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Gradually stir into egg mixture to form a soft dough that can be handled. Pat dough into a 9" or 10" nonstick cake pan, covering bottom and sides. Peel and slice apples. Arrange them in overlapping slices. Mix brown sugar, milk and cinnamon and drizzle over the apples. Bake 20 minutes. Serve warm. For variety, substitute any quick-cooking fresh fruit.

  • Yields: 1 9" or 10" cake
  • Preparation Time: about 45 minutes

Baked Apples

  • 8 apples, cored
  • 2 T. cinnamon
  • 1 can diet cream or root beer soda

Arrange apples in baking dish, sprinkle with cinnamon. Pour soda over apples and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve warm, cold or partially frozen.

  • Yields: serves 8
  • Preparation Time: depends upon how you want to serve them

Strawberry Sour Cream Rolls

Strawberry Sour Cream Rolls
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • A basket of strawberries
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Sugar

Take four flat tortillas. Lay them out flat. Spread each one with sour cream. Sprinkle with sugar (it crunches a little when you eat it) or with confectioner's sugar (if you don't like the crunch). Thin-slice the strawberries and lay them on the sour cream. Leave about 1/2 an inch of the tortilla dry at either side, and about 1 1/2 inches at the long ends. Gently roll the tortilla up so that you have a 8-inch long tubes. Cut the tubes into four 2-inch rolls.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: About 20 minutes

Strawberries with Brown Sugar

  • Enough strawberries to go around
  • Fat-Free Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt
  • Granulated Brown Sugar

Rinse and dry the strawberries. Do not cap the berries, but serve them intact. Put the fat-free sour cream and brown sugar in small bowls for dipping. You can give a sour cream/brown sugar set to each person, or, if you're being informal, let people share. Dip berries first into sour cream, then into brown sugar, then into mouth.

  • Yields: Depends upon how many strawberries you use
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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