Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Apple Magic

I’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal this winter, thanks to a Costco run last summer – I now have more quick-cooking oats than I know what to do with. To keep things interesting I’ve made Swiss oatmeal (a la The Corner Bakery), oatmeal pancakes, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and various quick breads that use oatmeal. However, I’ve found that there’s nothing better than a bowl of hot oatmeal on a winter morning, topped with crisp apples sautéed in a little butter and brown sugar... yum.

Unfortunately in making this hearty breakfast earlier this winter I found my Costco-sized bag of brown sugar to be hard as a rock. Faced with this dilemma time and time again, I’ve tried different methods of keeping brown sugar soft. Plastic bags, canisters and terracotta discs that claim to keep it fresh - none of which actually did a whole lot. And then I discovered the apple.

I placed an apple in the brown sugar bag, sealed it shut and let it work its magic. In less than a day, the three pounds of brown sugar were no longer hard as a rock. I switch out the apple every 2-3 weeks and replace it with a new one.

Note, in the interest of full disclosure, I work for the apple industry which means that I eat a lot of apples and I frequently experiment with them in cooking. Consequently, I may talk about them periodically on Live to Eat. But this blog is not about apples – although I am continually amazed at the fruit’s versatility and ability to protect and heal the body – it is about food.

Check out this excellent recipe for Apple Harvest Oatmeal.

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