Monday, October 14, 2013

the novel bakers present~

the apple orchard

"the air smelled of apples, and the orchard hummed with the sounds of bees hovering over the bushels of harvested fruits. the trees were in prime condition, waiting for the workers to arrive. the branches had been pruned in readiness for the ladders, the roads graded smooth so the fruit won't jostle in transport. the morning was cool with a mist hanging among the branches. the sun ripe on the eastern horizon of the rolling hills, offered the promise of warmth later in the day."

"there, his head above the branches, he inhaled the glory of the morning-the redolence on the air, the quality of the light filtering through the mist, the contours of the land and the distant haze of the ocean."

ok, i am a sucker for an apple orchard by the sea story, but the book is more, it is about family and fortunes, both old and new. to be honest i didn't expect to like it this much, it was a fluffy read to tie into my desire to play with apples, but i loved the visuals and soon i was hooked on the story when it took a more serious turn then i expected. all in all it was a good read and i had a fabulous time playing with the 40 pounds of apples i purchased! if you are looking for a tasty autumn read with an embracing story i hope you seek this book out, i never like to talk about story lines, its easy to read a synopsis from amazon, i love to read a book cold and take the journey fresh.

the book is dotted with recipes through out, from apple danish pie with caramel apple topping, to apple chutney and jule cake. not all recipes are with apples, there was grape and rosemary focaccia, two kettle pie and baked hot chocolate. since i have been dining on baked apples for months, i decided to try something a little different today to start off apple week, being a cool day by the sea, i thought it was a perfect time to try mulligatawny soup~

mulligatawny soup
from the apple orchard

4 T butter
diced fruits and vegetables, incl
bell pepper
1/4 flour
curry powder

garam masala or make your own...
*1 tablespoon ground cumin
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
***Mix cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl. Place mix in an airtight container, and store in a cool, dry place.

4 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream or yogurt

my additions~

may thicken with rice, potatoes, garbanzo beans, red or yellow lentils, or put a scoop of rice into each bowl and ladle the soup over top.

instead of yogurt, can be flavored with coconut milk, lime, brown sugar

optional garnishes: cilantro, fresh chiles, toasted coconut, diced apple, plain yogurt, green onions, chopped salted peanuts

perfect with toasted flat bread with hints of olive oil, garlic + freshly minced cilantro slathered about

i kept my soup chunky, added loads of fresh ginger and yogurt, poured over a scoop of cooked rice and topped with cilantro, salted peanuts, fresh cut apples and freshly made coconut.

as a very funny aside i asked my husband to bring coconut home from the store, i was STUNNED when i opened the bag to see a REAL COCONUT! i mean what are the odds of that, in my entire life i have never bought a coconut... i was cracking up and ticked off at the same time, i mean come on... A COCONUT? to his credit he said i assumed you wanted it as a prop... after all our neighborhood has streets like kawaii, maui and kona, perhaps he thought i was a having a luau, EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW IT WAS APPLE WEEK WITH ALL MY BAKING FOR MONTHS!

as his punishment, i said you figure out how to open it, good luck, i doubt we have an axe here. out comes the iphone and in seconds he knew just what to do; look for the 3 dots, find the eyebrows, tap around the circumference. i was SHOCKED! ok, now what, how do we get the meat to taste like the store... 90 minutes later i have sweetened grated and shaved coconut! it did totally crack me up, but it was delicious and i LOVE that fact i have homemade coconut on my mulligatawny soup~

i bought 40 pounds of apples in august, i have been baking for months, all this week, and for me, the rest of the month of october, the novel bakers will be celebrating apples, be sure and stop by and take a delicious bite out of fall with us all~


  1. Your coconut story is really funny, but I bet it tasted better than the pre-made store bought.

  2. Now that Zap is home from the hospital, we're getting back to normal around here, and I can smile again. Your humor lifts my heart. Wish you could see my huge smile. I'm hanging onto your narrative, biting my nails, wondering if the apple lady would allow the photo shoot, then I'm LMAO at the coconut. (I remember how Tom Hanks struggled with them in Cast Away.) Your soup is perfect for autumn, and yet it's not the same old fare (potato/squash/tomato). As for your photos, you've captured the essence of Fall. Your collages give a peek of the bounty and beauty that's coming--I can't wait! Love your crates and remember the story behind them. A fantastic kick off to Apple Week! xxoo

  3. I'm dazzled by the orchard and those apples spilling from the trees! And of course, I have fruit crate envy, what fun the apple fair must have been. I missed ours over Labor Day~

    Your Mulligatawny soup sounds wonderful and perfect for fall. I skimmed over that recipe in the book, you have made it a culinary masterpiece with all your garnishes and additions! I had to laugh at the whole coconut, I've never attempted to open one, isn't technology grand, thank you iPhone :)

    I'm wanting to dig in to those teaser mosaics of apple goodness, I can only imagine what wonderful things you have in store for us! Thank you picking such perfect book for Novel Baking! I look forward to the weeks to come from your 40 lbs of apples :)

  4. I can see why he would think you might be using a whole coconut! How funny. I don't think I've ever worked with a real, live coconut either! Looking forward to a week of apple goodness!

  5. I am so very happy the Novel Bakers are back and am so excited for this week! I am looking forward to making this soup and might even make it tonight. It's a good day for soup here in the northeast as it's a chilly, grey dreary day. Wish I had those leaf bowls to serve it in...just love them!

  6. Oh my goodness...I would have wanted to throw the coconut at the person making the delivery! LOL....I am still cracking up...and then the siren and airplane.. LOL...I am surprised that you were able to get the post up!! I do enjoy Mulligatawny Soup....sounds like a fun day...but not too quiet!!!

  7. Apple goodness here for certain. Love the orchard shots with the apples spilling under the trees. Can't wait to see the picnic you created. This is going to be an applelicious week. '-)

  8. okay, I am exhausted just reading all that! I really don't know where to begin but I had to laugh when I saw the Mulligatawny soup, it was not what I expected! Great way to show the glorious versatility of the apple, the symbol of so many things but always expected to be a pie or sauce! I love it when the Novel Bakers get together, and I will savor the entire week, eating apples of course!

  9. Aw, Gravensteins have a special place in my heart as they were my Dad's favorite. We used to drive up north almost every year to buy apples from the farmers (no fair back then).

    Delightful post, really enjoyed your pics of the apple trees. Thanks for sharing! :-)