Is it autumn yet where you are? The seasons have definitely changed here in our central Pennsylvania valley. As I look out my office window, I can see a carpet of leaves dotted with the husks of walnuts that have already fallen from the black walnut tree in the backyard. The seed heads of the coneflowers still stand, providing food for the smaller birds that love to perch precariously on the stems to eat their fill.
Down by the springhouse, the sunlight slants through the leaves, turning them to a double blaze of gold, and the grapevines that have overtaken the lilacs by the creek provide their own splash of paler yellow, while the Virginia creeper adds an accent of deep scarlet. The flowers have nearly finished, with only the mums and Autumn Joy sedum giving a spark of color to the beds.
The outside scene prompts me to reconsider the meals I plan. Do you find that to be true for you, as well? I've started thinking of soups and chili instead of salads, as well as anything and everything made from apples. There's a bag of McIntosh apples on my counter now--they're my favorite for a versatile cooking apple. I did a double batch of apple walnut bread a few days ago, and I'll cook applesauce for supper. My husband hints that a pie might be nice.
So in keeping with the season, here's one of my favorite recipes for Apple Walnut Cake:
4 cups pared,
2 cups sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to
Combine the apples and
sugar in a bowl and set aside. Beat the eggs in the oil and vanilla in a large
bowl. In third bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Stir the flour mixture and the apple mixture alternately into the oil and
vanilla. Add the walnuts and stir. Pour the batter into a 13 x 9- inch pan
sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for one hour and enjoy!