J. C. Coon: Well at Least My Cookbooks are Organized

It is not because that was my original project for today, but because hubby purchased 3 pounds of black walnuts at Costco last week.  Well maybe the story starts farther back than that.

Last fall we started gathering our beautiful black walnuts because I want to cook and bake with my OWN black walnuts.

Do you know what a process this is???

First you start off fighting/sharing with the squirrels.  Then starts the gathering; husking (worms and all); washing; drying; cracking the nut (a whole other adventure, a gentle tap won’t do, it takes maybe a sledge hammer LOL).  All of this for what?… two little pieces of nutmeat per nut… this will take all winter just to get two cups!

The ‘find’ at Costco had blessings, I have peace in my home and fresh nuts to cook with and a new admiration for the time and energy the squirrels put into gathering their winter harvest.

Or maybe my story started last month when I took the confirmation class at Holy Cross Abbey down by the river and Brother Barnabus told us that they now sell slices of their world famous fruitcake, dipped in dark chocolate and called “fraters” (which means brother in Latin—how clever).

The fraters were yummy… and my mind said, well if I get enough black walnuts and make my own fruit cake, I could try to dip some slices of my OWN fruitcake in dark chocolate….

If I had enough black walnuts, that is.

So this brings us back to the 3-pound bag hubby bought at Costco… now that’s a lot of nuts.

So my brain asked what else can I do with these nuts…

So I remembered having to make my aplets last year with pecans because I did not have any black walnuts.

Great idea. Now where is that recipe?

I know I printed it off  and put it up here with my cookbooks and all the other pieces of paper that I have acquired over the months with ‘good recipes’ I have cut out or printed.  So I started to ‘organize’ my random pieces of papers all the while looking for my aplets recipe.

Well since I have gone this far might as well put them in the binder I started last winter when we were snowed in—remember then?

But first I had to find a binder, the three whole punch – yes I still have one – and I even have a box of sheet protectors, that might come in handy some day.

So, all my recipes are now in order. Yeah me!

Oh, did I ever find my aplet recipe that I had printed off the Internet on the 81/2 x 11 piece of paper?

Yes. But better yet I found my DAD’s aplet recipe in my box of 3×5 cards.  Sweet!

Finally, off to the pantry to pick out a jar of my homemade applesauce (made with apples from our own local pick-your-own Mackintosh Fruit Farm) to go with a cup of my store bought black walnuts.

Compromises.

My Dad’s Aplet Recipe

2 envelopes of Knox gelatin

2 cups of applesauce

2 cups of sugar.

2 tsp Vanilla

1 cup finely chopped Black Walnuts (his were from his yard)

A wee bit of butter or Pam ( to spread in an 8×8 baking dish)

1 Cup of powered sugar (for later)

  1. Combine in a small bowl,  2 packets of gelatin and 1 cup of applesauce — let them sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a pan combine the remaining one-cup of applesauce and 2 cups of sugar.  Heat and stir untill boiling.
  3. Add the applesauce with dissolved gelatin to the mixture, and cook and stir on low for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.  Add vanilla and 1 cup of finely chopped Black Walnuts let cool stirring occasionally for 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Pour into an 8×8 pan that you have greased with butter (or Pam).  Let cool (uncovered) and let it  ‘set up’ for 24 to 48 hours.
  6. With a sharp knife dipped in oil. Cut into 64 squares and roll each square in powered sugar (twice).

I store them in a plastic container lined with wax paper and before serving, roll them again in powered sugar and display on a cookie tray in mini muffin holders

P.S. If you do not want to bake your own fruitcake it is not too late to “buy local” at Holy Cross Abbey: www.monasteryfruitcake.org