Friday, November 30, 2007


Apples are one of my favorite foods. I can eat them all year 'round. Raw, cooked, sauced, baked, fried, sweet, savory, in salads, main dishes, desserts, ...CIDER!... anyway, anyhow. This year we're innundated with apples! My daughter works for a winery/orchard/vineyard company and we got to pick main varieties after their harvest plus pick varieties that were left unpicked. The CSA we belong to, Terry's Berries, has had apples in the shares almost every week. One of our big new projects is making cider - hard cider. The primary fermentation is just getting going and smells so yeasty/apple-y, it's wonderful!

One of the things I've had more time for since retiring, is cooking. I used to cook a lot. Then work and dogs and other busy-ness stopped most of my kitchen experiments. (So true, I seldom follow a recipe exactly.)

So here's the sharing part! Recently I made a dinner and a breakfast with apples. I think they're too good not to share. :-)

Sausage, apples and squash.

This is a classic combination.
(We also get LOTS of winter squash with our CSA shares - delicious!)

Single serving - or scale it up for however many people you have:

Cook/fry 4 sausage links (homegrown is best, but I used store bought because our most delicious homegrown pork is long gone - boo hoo!)

While sausage is frying, cook 1 small winter squash (I use the microwave - put halved/quartered, seeds and strings removed, squash in a ziploc with a couple Tablespoons water, cook on high 5 to 10 minutes till soft.).

Core/slice 1 apple ( any variety - they're all good! Empire, Jonagold, Yellow Delicious, Liberty, Gala, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Winter Banana... some cook more firm, some more soft, some sweeter, some more tart)

Add apples to the sausage and fry on both sides as the sausage finishes cooking. (Alt - you could cook the apples in butter- yum!- or just steam them) Sausage cooks somewhere around 10 minutes, apples 3 to 5.

Assembly - Scoop out cooked squash into a bowl - or use the halved/quartered squash in-the-skin as a bowl. Pile sausage and apples on top. I added a bit of butter to the cooked squash and kind of mashed it in the bowl before adding the sausage and apples.

Two - I just finished this as my (late) breakfast. MmmmMmmm Bowl-Licking Good. :-)

Franna's Fractured German Apple Pancake

Single serving, scale as needed. Heat oven to 350F

1T butter (I like butter!) - put it in a big custard cup and melt it in the heating oven.
Meanwhile, slice 1 apple.

Add 1 to 2 T sugar (depending on how sweet the apple is, and how strong your sweet tooth is) and 1/4 t cinnamon to the melted butter. Mix.

Add sliced/chopped apple and toss to coat. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes. Toss again after 5 minutes and 10 minutes.

While apples are cooking:

Beat 1 egg very well. Add 1T milk and beat some more. Add 1T flour and mix until blended.

Pour over the partially cooked apples and return to the oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until the egg is cooked. It will puff up about double in volume. Protect your oven by putting the custard cup on a baking sheet. do I know this ?

It will be hot! and a wonderful breakfast for a chilly morning. And just look at the food groups! Dairy, eggs, fruit, grain. It has to be good for you. :-)

Sharing of a different sort:

After thinking and composing in my head for many months, I wrote a (web) paper on sheep color inheritance targeted at the Gotland upbreeding program. It's a final draft. I need to get one more person's permission to use their photo, plus put together my list of references and correct a few typos before publishing it. My goal was to write presentation-style for people who are not well versed in genetics, yet be technical enough that those who do understand genetics-speak will find it useful.

Dear Blog Readers, would you please take a look and comment?

It might take several short readings to digest the content. Short comments can be posted here - longer ones should come to my email address:

Thank you!
- Franna


Kathy said...

Thanks for the recipe, Franna - plus the chance to read your work. Just so long as it doesn't sound like my DD's thesis! Ha, ha, ha!

I've always wanted to ask you if you were going to try for more colors in the Gotlands with the addition of the Shetland blood? Will that be considered a "new" Gotland breed? (All the information I've ever read, or Gotland flocks I've seen are a choice of grey, grey, or gray);)

Kathy said...

And I have to ask THE question: If the Gotland breed has been shades of grey (I know - black really but we'll just call it grey) and has been for hundreds if not thousands of years...what do you hope to get from mixing in other breeds of sheep? What is your goal?

I realize that this brings out all sorts of discussions on why add other breed genetics to a very old Landrace breed, but I'm curious as to what the hoped for outcome is. I, too, am a person who might do the same thing, yet I know there will be a lot of people asking why "fix" a good breed that is good to begin with?

Franna said...

Well, it sure doesn't sound like MY thesis! ;-)

Gotlands are grey, grey, or gray, right. The goal of the Association is to bring the Gotland breed, as it was developed, into North America. We don't want to "fix" it.

However, here are no 100% Gotlands in North America, so we have to start with ewes other than Gotland. Gotlands are a Luster Longwool of Northern Shorttail type, so we chose to allow 9 foundation breeds to breed up to "purebred" status. Those breeds include Northern Shorttails and Luster Longwools (and crosses within). They bring in a myriad of colors and patterns to the "Grey Gotland", as well as assorted tails, horns and other fleece types.

The Breed Association decided that in order to be registered, the sheep must meet percentage requirements, and the standard, which calls for a grey sheep. Other colors can be recorded as breeding stock.

Personally, I think there is room for other colors, and am still ruminating about a spin off breed. Wouldn't a grey-brown luster longwool be pretty???

Much subject matter for discussion. :-)
- Franna

Franna said...

PS. Since there are so many options for Foundation stock, each with its own set of advantages and "challenges", it is in a buyer's best interest to thoroughly investigate the pedigrees of percentage Gotland sheep.
- Franna

Beth & Dennis @ Milehaus Farm said...


Beth read your blog yesterday and we immediately tried out the Fractured Apple pancake. They were very delicious and will be a repeat on the menu.

It was -22 and snowing outside, so it was a good time to stay inside, do some cooking and then enjoy the fruits of our labor.