October 10th is World Homeless Day. The purpose of this day “is to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness….”

As the Portland, Oregon 10-10-10 Day website says:

It’s easy to blame homeless men and women for getting themselves into their predicament.  It’s convenient to think of them in a stereotype of lazy, dirty and sub-human.  A closer look reveals the many facets, causes and complexities behind homelessness. 

Some Causes of Homelessness

With today’s poor economy, high unemployment, underemployment, and home foreclosures more and more of the homeless are middle class. Or used to be.

And according to the Portland Oregon website on any given night 200,000 military veterans sleep in the street. This is unconscionable. Yes. We should support the troops. And this support should extend to veterans as well.

Domestic violence leaves many women and children homeless as well. 

Mental illness is another of the top ten reasons people are homeless. To read the entire list click here.


“…….for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” … Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”       The Gospel of Matthew


Featured Recipe    Baked Apples

Baked Apples are truly one of the very best fall recipes. Apples are being picked as I write this and as you are reading this. They are at their peak.

A Rose By Any Other Name

Believe it or not apples are a member of the rose family and are a relative of pears, cherries, raspberries, and quince. A pretty respectable family tree, wouldn’t you say.

I love fixing baked apples in the fall when there is a chill in the air. As the apples bake in the oven it adds warmth to a chilly day.

These can be made with any apples, though choosing a baking apple is best. You can access The Cook’s Thesaurus apple guide to see which apples are best for baking by clicking here.

There are dozens of different recipes out there for Baked Apples. You can make them with granulated sugar or brown sugar. You can add cinnamon or other spices. You can fix them plain with just sugar or you can add pecans, walnuts, or any nut you like. You can add raisins, dried cherries, or as I do dried cranberries. This is an extremely versatile recipe. So go for it!! Make it yours.

Today I used both red and green apples to give a holiday feel to the dish too. Plus it just looks prettier, don’t you think? I am in to pretty.

In other words, you can add just about anything and use most any kind of apple and you will have a luscious treat.

I use the basic recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cooking For Two, 1976 edition. I add  chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.

This is what you will need for each apple you bake:

1-2 tablespoons granulated or brown sugar. I used brown.

1 teaspoon butter or margarine. I used butter.

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Walnuts and dried cranberries (How ever many will fit in the apple.)

Here is what you do:

Wash and dry the apples.

Core the apples. If you have a corer use that. I do not have a corer so I use a melon baller, a knife, and sometimes a teaspoon. These are my tools. The melon baller is old. But I have one even older. It has no paint on it at all. It was my mom’s and my gandmother’s. Tradition is important, so I use my old melon baller even of the paint is peeling off of it.

Use the larger scoop on the melon baller and  make a hole near the stem on the apple. This gives me about the diameter I want, which should be about ¾ to 1 inch wide.

Then I use a small knife to start taking out the seeds and core. I use the smaller end of the melon baller to help in this process. Do not core all the way through the bottom of the apple. What you want to do is make a well in the apple to hold all of the deliciousness of the nuts and dried fruits you will stuff into it.

Kind of think of  it as practice on a very small scale for stuffing the turkey next month.

Betty Crocker says to keep the skin from splitting while baking, remove some of the skin around the middle of the apple.

I never was very good at following directions. I find it works just as well to peel a bit off the top of the apple as I have done here with a fruit peeler. If I use a knife I cut off too much apple.

The red peeler is the fruit peeler. Compared to a vegetable peeler the fruit peeler has little teeth on it. I don’t know the physics of why this peeler with the mini-jaws like teeth is so gentle with fruit. But it is. It just slides that skin right off. It is indispensible in the kitchen when cooking with fruit.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.

Coarsely chop the nuts and cranberries or whatever you are using.


Place the apples upright in a small baking dish. Place a couple teaspoons of the sugar mixture into the well followed by some walnuts and cranberries.

Then add some more sugar and nuts and cranberries until everything is used up. Place a pat of butter on top of the cinnamon mixture.

Add water to ¼ inch to the baking dish and then bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes approximate. The number of minutes will vary depending on the size of the apple and the variety of apple you use. I had to cook these apples almost a full 60 minutes.

Bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a fork.

Serve with warm or cold. Fantastic with ice cream. Great for breakfast the next morning too! Add a dollop of yogurt for breakfast.

Imagine that. Eating dessert for breakfast. I like it!!!  I like it a lot!!!

4 apples                                  $2.04

8 tbsps brown sugar                 $0.40

4 teaspoons butter                   $0.28

½ teaspoon cinnamon              $0.21

 Total cost for 4 apples = $2.93
Cost per apple = $0.73

A very delicious dessert for under $1.00 per person.

 Bon Appetit!!!

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