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a good apple
a light n' applelicious fall meal

by Yee-Fan Sun 
1 2 3

The boy thinks Iím weird because Iíll go through weeks on end where Iíll want one fruit or veggie all the time. In spring itís asparagus; Iíll buy fat bunches of the stuff and steam it up, nibble away at tasty lemon-drenched stalks for lunch and in-between meal snacks, hoarding them for all myself because I know the boy doesnít appreciate that particular veggieís goodness nearly as much as I do. Come summer itís all about the cherries; as soon as I spy the first plump crimson specimens mounded up in the market, Iím digging in with mad glee -- lugging home cherries in giant threatening-to-burst bags, washing up big bowls that Iíll then devour in single-sitting marathons. Yes, Iím a little obsessive about my favorite foods Ö all the more so when theyíre seasonal treats whose abundance and affordability are all-too-fleeting.

So maybe itís not surprising that lately, with the weather having taken a turn thatís decidedly autumnal, I canít seem to get enough of apples. To be honest, most times of the year, apples donít do much for me; they seem so common, so ho-hum ubiquitous and bland. But come September, local apples start turning up in the produce section, glorious green, red and gold specimens with slightly awkward shapes and tiny lovely flaws. Unlike the freakishly over-waxed versions that come from who-knows-where and that are universally available all year long, these apples look and smell like real apples, perfectly imperfect, quintessentially fall. I love trying out all the different varieties, enjoying their sweet crisp juiciness as a healthy snack -- and throwing them into various dishes come mealtime as well.

This pairing of ďcreamyĒ squash-and-apple soup with a delectable apple-bacon-avocado salad hits the spot when Iím looking for a relatively light weekday dinner or weekend late lunch this time of year. As both the soup and the salad are also rather pretty too look at, they also make fine starters for a grander autumn feast. Whether youíre going the simple soup-n-salad route or hosting a big dinner fete, though, one thingís guaranteed: youíll like Ďdem apples just fine, as long as you get Ďem while theyíre fresh and local and at their sweet-tart-crisp best.

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