* * *COUNT WINTER SQUASH among the many vegetables that pair well with apples. The apple’s versatility is further featured in a stuffing that can be used with eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, or zucchini as well as with poultry and seafood. Both recipes come from Janet M. Christensen’s and Betty Bergman Levin’s Apple Orchard Cookbook, Second Edition (Countryman Press, 2010).
Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash3 acorn squash 3 Jonagold or other New England apple, unpeeled 3/4 c nut meats (optional) 1/4 c melted butter 1/2 c maple syrup or honey Cut squash in halves and scoop out seeds. Dice apples and combine with nuts. Place squash in a baking pan. Divide apple-nut mixture among the six squash halves. Drizzle butter and syrup or honey over each. Add hot water to 1/2-inch depth. Cover pan loosely with foil. Bake at 400°F for 45 minutes, or until squash is tender.
All-Purpose Apple Stuffing1 c Italian-flavored breadcrumbs 1 Jonagold or other New England apple, chopped 1 c hot water 2 T olive oil Mix together breadcrumbs, apple, hot water, and olive oil. Brush vegetables with 2 T olive oil before stuffing. Eggplant or zucchini: Halve and scoop out centers, chop the remains and add to stuffing mixture. Mushrooms: Break off and chop stems, and add to stuffing mixture. Onions: Halve large onions and remove their centers; set onion shells aside. Chop onion centers and add to stuffing mixture. Tomatoes: Remove inner part of tomato, chop, and add to stuffing mixture. Baked stuffed vegetables at 350°F for about 40 minutes. Bake poultry or seafood according to your usual procedure.
* * *THIS WEEKEND is the 18th Annual CiderDays in Franklin County, Massachusetts. The two-day event Saturday, November 3, and Sunday, November 4, draws hard cider-makers and aficionados from around the country. Many of CiderDays’ events are already sold out, but there is still time to join the festivities. Visit CiderDays for more information and a schedule.
* * *APPLE DRINKS merit an entire chapter in America’s Apple, a new book by Russell Steven Powell with photographs by Bar Lois Weeks. Several of the makers of fresh, hard, and ice cider from last year’s CiderDays are featured, including Boston’s Harpoon Brewery, makers of a commercial hard cider, and the artisanal Eden Ice Cider of West Charleston, Vermont.