Every time I opened the refrigerator, I saw them.
About six or eight Gala apples, separated from the bag they came in, a bag that used to contain 10 apples.
I had overestimated how many apples I’d want to eat, and now the ones I had rejected were staring me in the face, getting less and less appetizing as days (OK, weeks) passed.
They were clearly auditioning for a trip to the trash can.
But I couldn’t do it.
I hate wasting food like some people hate picture frames hanging slightly crooked on the wall.
This is why I have between three and eight containers of leftovers in the refrigerator at all times. I’ll determinedly eat leftovers, a little at a time, for days before I’ll throw them away.
Back to the apples — I couldn’t just force myself to eat them; they weren’t crisp anymore and the reason I didn’t eat all of them in the first place is that these particular apples weren’t as pleasantly sharp tasting as I would have liked.
They were boring apples.
Still, I had to make a decision. Also nagging at me was the one peach I hadn’t eaten yet from a collection of four I’d purchased at the grocery store recently.
The peach was a little mushy on one side and I grimaced without meaning to when I thought of eating it.
When a solution popped into my head, I was instantly jolted out of my food-waste guilt and excited to begin one of my favorite pastimes: baking.
Apple crisp is a simple dish to make when you have plenty of apples and not a clue how to use them up. Crisp is usually featured heavily in any fall-time recipe collection, and its simplicity means most everyone will like to have a taste.
Plus, I figured it would be easy enough to add the off-putting peach to the mix of apples.
My only complaint about apple crisp is that it involves peeling, slicing and coring apples, which can be time-consuming.
But if a little time is all it would take to relieve my guilt about letting food go bad, that’s a price I was willing to pay. (And in reality, it didn’t take that much time. It’s like so many other things, where the anticipation of a dreaded task is infinitely worse than the actual task.)
Here’s the recipe I used, adapted from the More with Less cookbook:
Mix these ingredients together in a bowl, pour into greased baking dish:
Peeled apple slices or chopped apples
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon water
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cut these ingredients together with a pastry blender or a fork in another bowl:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1 cup rolled oats
Sprinkle the rolled oats mixture evenly on top the apple mixture in the baking dish.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
Do you have any recipes for using up food that’s on its way out? Leave a comment below.