I grew up in a ‘healthy’ house. What is a ‘healthy’ house, you may ask? Well, my mother, a former nurse, believed that we were only to put food that was good for our body into our mouths. There was never candy or junk food to be found in our home. There was no sugar cereal in the cupboards. There was no soda or juice in the fridge.
If we were thirsty, we drank the same liquid we used to wash our hands with, bathe in, wash our clothes and fill the dog’s bowl with: H2O from the tap. Despite all the limitations on what we could eat, my mother was a good cook.
Her favorite culinary color of course was green, as her dishes relied heavily on vegetables. But despite her busy schedule as a nurse, she always made sure that we had a family dinner every night. And with that dinner always came … dessert. If we ate our supper, (there was no leaving any food on our plate.) my siblings and I were treated with our choice of either a crunchy, mouth-watering apple or a juicy, sumptuous orange. Oh joy!
But life wasn’t always so ‘healthy’. Occasionally my siblings and I felt like we won the lottery when my mom would offer us her homemade baked apples. (I now realize, she probably made them when the apples were going bad, but we loved them nonetheless.)
My mother never added sugar, but the natural sweetness of the apple mixed with just a dash of cinnamon was all it took to fill the house with a sweet and delicious aroma.
Now that Tu B’shvat is around the corner, I think Baked Apples are a perfect way to compliment the day. These are not my mother’s baked apples, but the smell sure reminds me of how lucky we felt when baked apples were being offered for dessert!
Enjoy and have a Tu B’shvat Sameach!