Ohio's largest living history destination offering guests experiences
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Apples . . . A Great Way to Celebrate Fall!

The aroma of apples and spices mixed with woodfires and falling leaves signals a change of season and Apple Butter Baking at Sauder Village. For the 34th consecutive year, guests can watch as we boil the cider down, add the thinly sliced apples and then cook the homemade apple butter in copper kettles over an open fire. This ever-popular fall event is sure to delight all of your senses with activities including apple butter making, cider pressing, apple cooking demonstrations and hands-on activities.

We’ve posted a video with some highlights of this fall event that runs Sept. 22-25. We also thought we’d share a few of the apple recipes we’ll be preparing in our historic homes throughout the fall. We hope you’ll plan to visit us for Apple Butter Making or one of the other special events we have planned yet this season!

Historic apple recipes to try in your own kitchen . . .

Apple Butter Pie – A recipe from the Lauber Family
1 heaping tablespoon flour (serving spoon)
1 heaping tablespoon sugar (serving spoon)
2 heaping tablespoons apple butter (servings spoons)
2 eggs
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 cups milk (1 cup cream and 1 cup 2% milk)

Mix sugar and flour, add next four ingredients then add milk. Pour into crust and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the center is set.

Apple Pandowdy
Apple Pandowdy is one of a family of simple desserts, known in different parts of the world as cobblers, duffs, grunts, slumps and pandowdies. These desserts have subtle variations, but the base of all of them is fruit baked with a sweet biscuit or cake dough top. The exact origin of the name Pandowdy is unknown, but it is thought to refer to the dessert’s plain or “dowdy” appearance. Looks can be deceiving, apple pandowdy is delicious - especially topped with a bit of ice cream or whipped cream. This dessert is super easy to make, yet wins rave reviews from diners. Try some tonight!

Apple Pandowdy Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 ½ cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups peeled, sliced apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
whipped cream or ice cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Butter a 9” square baking dish. Place sliced apples in buttered baking dish and sprinkle with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg. Add flour mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture to make a stiff batter. Spread batter evenly over apples and bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for at least ten minutes before serving. You can serve this dish right out of the pan or invert it onto a serving plate like an upside-down cake, warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Apple Grunt
½ cup sugar
2 T butter
1 egg
1 cup flour
½ t. salt
½ t. baking powder
2 c. sliced apples
½ c. sour milk or buttermilk
½ t. vanilla
6 T. brown sugar
1 ½ T. flour
½ t. cinnamon
1 ½ T. butter

Cream sugar and butter together; add egg and mix. Blend flour, salt and baking powder together and add to mixture. Mix soda with milk and vanilla; mix all together. Add apple slices and pour batter into a buttered baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter – mixing until crumb texture and sprinkle over apple batter. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fall Harvest - A Time to Celebrate!

With corn in the fields, pumpkins in the patch and apples on the trees, it’s harvest time here in Northwest Ohio. For some people, fall harvest means digging potatoes from the garden or picking apples from the orchard. For others it may mean spending hours in a combine to harvest hundreds of acres of corn or soybeans. While methods have changed through the years, fall harvest continues to be a time-honored tradition in this region.

In the mid 1800s, corn, wheat, oats, potatoes and molasses were grown in this area. Because of the difficulty in getting the crop to market, most of the crops were used on the farm. Harvesting was done almost entirely by hand with corn being husked off the stalk or shocked in the field until needed. Grain was cut with a grain cradle and tied into bundles and shocked by hand. Harvesting two or three acres in a day was a big accomplishment.

By the 1880s several inventions made harvesting much easier. Threshing machines replaced flails allowing an entire crop to be done in a day or two instead of weeks. Reapers & binders also made harvesting quicker, and the coming of the railroad in the late 1850s meant that surplus could be shipped out to other markets, Farms got bigger as less time was needed to work each acre. By 1870 the time of our Stuckey Farm, farmers like Peter Stuckey had extra time to start up side businesses like his wagon shop.

By 1928, many of the same crops were still being grown, but in much greater numbers. The threshing machines were now powered by gas tractors instead of steam engines making the process much safer. While wheat and oats enjoyed new innovations, corn was still being hand harvested.

It was not until the late 1940s that better machines and new drying bins made the combine widely popular and more affordable in this part of Ohio. Today oats are not typically grown in this area and soybeans have taken many of the acres that were previously planted in oats. Wheat and corn continue to be major crops in Ohio. With average-sized farm equipment of today, farmers can typically shell 50 acres of corn, 90 acres of soybeans or 50 acres of wheat per day. A big change from the one or two acres of the 1830s.

Traditions like a threshers dinner or special church service like the Harvest Home Service were common ways to celebrate the bounty of the harvest. Throughout the fall, harvest will be a big part of the story we tell at Historic Sauder Village. There will be vegetables to harvest from our garden, apples to pick and use for making tasty apple butter, historic farming demonstrations and more!

While the methods of harvest have changed through the years, the importance of this season has remained steadfast. Fall harvest is a time of thanksgiving and celebration. We hope you’ll take time this fall to celebrate the season and enjoy the bounty of the harvest!