'Halloween is time to fall for fall fruit'

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

Thursday is Halloween so it's time to get ready for the trick or treaters. If you want to give out treats, be sure to leave your outside lights on so the "spooks" can see where they are walking. You don't want someone to fall on your porch or walk. Happy Halloween.

Many of you will have fall fruits bearing on your trees this time of the year so enjoy them and prepare the fruits to use later. Apples and pears have lots of fiber, flavor, and phytochemicals in addition to being delicious. Sometimes we only think about food preservation during the vegetable bearing months, but you can process your extra food any time of the year. Now is a good time to make that apple jelly, apple butter, pear preserves, pear marmalade, apple sauce, apple pie filling, etc.

We have always heard in early childhood days that an apple a day would keep the doctor away. Even if this may be a "wise ole tale" we know that apples are low in calories, and are good for you, any time of the day. Some stores will be featuring apples and pears this time of the year at sale price, so buy several and have them on hand for you family to enjoy eating daily. With so many varieties to choose from, you can enjoy these seasonal fruits for months. If you can't find the type of fruit you are looking for at the local grocery store, don't forget Haney's where you will find lots of varieties. Try serving apples and pears in different ways to your family, besides just eating them raw. Fresh apples are always delicious cooked or fried for the family meal. Here are some other ideas for using the fruit.

Start with breakfast. Add finely, chopped apples and cinnamon to rolled oats. This adds flavor and texture without the extra sugar.

Another breakfast treat includes sliced pears with ginger and honey in plain Greek yogurt. A sprinkle of chopped cashews or almonds adds a bit of crunch.

At snack time, enjoy apple slices with peanut or almond butter. Dust them with ground nutmeg or cinnamon before eating.

On a day when you are not working, cut pears into fours; combine 1 teaspoon of melted butter, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and brush on the pears. Broil for 10 minutes. Cool before eating.

To 6 cups of fresh spinach or arugula, add 2 thinly sliced Granny Smith apples. Drizzle with a dressing made with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Add 2 tablespoons feta cheese and ¼ cup chopped pecans.

Try an apple and cheddar quesadilla. Place ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese on a whole tortilla; cut ½ of a Gala or honey crisp apple into thinly slices and place on top of cheddar cheese. Fold over and grill in a medium skillet using non-stick spray until cheese is melted.

Make a roast beef and pear roll-up. Add 2-3 slices of thinly sliced pears to a whole wheat tortilla, with 2-3 slices of lean roast beef, 1 slice Swiss cheese, and 1 teaspoon of honey mustard. Roll up and enjoy. This sweet, salty combination is delicious!

In your side dishes, add one peeled, chopped apples to your sweet potatoes and boil for 30 minutes. Combine 1 teaspoon vanilla, ¾ cup orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Add to the apples and sweet potatoes and mash up before serving. Serve warm.

For a fun snack, try an apple sandwich. Slice the bottom and top off of a crisp Gala or Granny Smith apple, then slice into ¼" slices. Layer an apple slice with almond butter, flaked coconut, and a dash of cinnamon. Top the apple with another apple slice and enjoy it.

Make a pear compote to serve with chicken, pork or fish. Combine 2 ripe, firm pears that have been cored and chopped. Add ¼ cup raisins, 1/3 cup apple or grape juice, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon apple cider or red wine vinegar, ¼ teaspoon sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place pears, raisins, apple juice, and cinnamon in a small pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes or until the liquid starts to thicken and the pears begin to fall apart.

For a more delicious dinner, top a seasoned pork tenderloin with chopped apples before you cook it in a slow cooker. Add a dash of cumin and cinnamon for flavor.

At a party, serve sliced pears with blue cheese in a leaf of endive as an appetizer. Top with chopped pecans and drizzle with honey or pure maple syrup before serving.

This is a very easy Apple Dumpling Recipe that is delicious. So easy to make, and your children will love it.

Easy Apple Dumplings

2 favorite apples

ounce cans of refrigerated Crescent roll dough

2 sticks of butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup of Mountain Dew or other citrus flavored soda

Cinnamon for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 13 dish or pan.

Peel and core the apples into 8 slices each or 16 pieces. Separate crescent dough into triangles. Starting at the wider end, roll one apple slice up in a crescent triangle. Repeat with remaining apple slices and crescents pieces, and transfer each to the prepared pan.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, then add the sugar and heat until dissolved. Add vanilla and stir slightly, then pour the entire mixture over the apples. Pour the citrus soda around the edges of the pan not on top of the dumplings. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake until golden brown and crispy on top, about 40 minutes. Serve by spooning some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top of the dumpling.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Events at the Extension Office

Learn the art of Swedish Weaving or "Huck Embroidery" at 1:00 o'clock on Tuesday, October 29, at the Extension Office. You need to bring a pair of scissors. Free to all homemakers and $5 for others.

Extension Celebration will be held on Tuesday Evening, starting at 6:00 o'clock at the Pulaski County Middle School.

Don't forget to purchase your Holiday Luncheon Ticket at the Pulaski County Extension Office for $20. This big event will be held on Friday, November 15, starting at 12:00 noon at the Langdon Street Activity Center. More than 22 different recipes will be served to you, plus a take home give, a recipe book, door prizes, etc. You can purchase extras books for $3.00 each.

Share your craft talents with everyone at the Holiday Bazaar that will be held on Saturday, November 23 at the Somerset Mall from 10:00 to 6:00. The Mall will be filled with different crafts for sale from local and area residents. Tables are rented for $10 for homemaker members and $25 for others.

Another homemaker year has begun. You are invited to become an Extension Homemaker. Dues are $11 a year, and can be paid at the Pulaski County Extension Office. Mail box members and other interested persons are invited to become a member. We have mail box members, quilters, cookers, and 17 other clubs.

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