Recipe Project #38 and #39: Autumnalness

I’ve been cooking lately, but not the sort of things that really qualify for this project. We cleaned out the fridge and I made a glorious pot of garbage soup. Tons of ripening tomatoes have become marina and gone into the freezer. Chickens have been roasted, become stock, and joined the marinara. But none of that is new, and in order to get posted here the dish has to be at least a new-to-me preparation.

The fridge-cleaning did yield one new recipe, since I ran across a mostly-full jar of applesauce. Not particularly awesome applesauce, either. Organic but a bit insipid, especially compared to homemade. So it became this spiced applesauce cake from Smitten Kitchen, which is a fairly rustic cake that goes well with an afternoon cup of coffee. Neither of us is particularly fond of frosting, so it remained naked the entire time. Not my all-time favorite cake in the world, but I’d make it again if I had some applesauce to use up.

Since I adore cranberries and cranberry season, I also had a bag of them sitting around in the crisper drawer, waiting for Thanksgiving. An entire bag of cranberries makes way too much for two people, so I decided to cook half of them early in this cranberry and apple relish from Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef. Rather than cook it all the way down into the sort of pectin-y mush that is cranberry sauce, I pulled it off when the apples were cooked through and the cranberries were just exploded. This left it less jelled and more compote-y, and I enhanced that by dialing back the sugar a bit and adding in some of the last Earlville honey that a colleague gave me. (I also substituted chopped dried plums for the raisins, since that’s what I had. Extra fiber!) I’ve been adding it to pots of homemade yogurt all week, and it’s been lovely.

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