Good morning. Dorie Greenspan can picture her mother in her cashmere wrap coat, in a cocktail dress covered with sequins, and in Capris and kitten heels, but never in an apron. “I don’t remember her cooking,” she wrote for The New York Times Magazine this week. “A child of the Depression and a working woman of the ’50s, my mother was grateful for a freezer and TV dinners that she’d serve as though she were offering us caviar.”
But she had one dish she did make, baked apples, for the kids but probably mostly for her husband, who loved them unreservedly. Dorie’s mom’s apples were sweet and coated in cinnamon — “too much cinnamon,” Dorie wrote. Her own recipe (above), employs dried apples and bits of candied ginger in the scooped-out centers of the fruit, but you could use another dried fruit or none at all. Butter adds velvet, and honey a drizzle of sweetness. It’s a dream dessert, a wonderful thing to serve to family after a simple weekend dinner of, let’s say, chicken braised in two vinegars.
So there’s your Sunday night, right there! For this evening, the end of a long week, you might follow the teachings of Melissa Clark and look toward your pantry shelves for supplies, for canned goods that can enliven easy weeknight meals. She delivered three new recipes along with her prose, for baked artichoke pasta with creamy goat cheese and fried onions; for sardine toasts with tomato and sweet onion; and for coconut curry chickpeas with pumpkin. Collect them all. But start with the pasta, I think.
I left Saturday open until now. Celebration of Oktoberfest gets underway in Munich tomorrow and continues in New York; the lederhosening runs through the first week of October. You may want to celebrate the season with sauerkraut and lots of pork for dinner, or sausages with potatoes and red cabbage. Either way, how about a Sacher torte for dessert? (Vienna, Va., throws a big Oktoberfest fest, itself.)
And please ask us for help if you need it with anything, from logging on to cooking the food. We’re at email@example.com. If you’d like to send me a dart or a rat, an apple or a flower, you can do that, too. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, I know I’m late to it, but if you are too, you should see what you think of Noelle Mateer in Deadspin, writing about competitive oyster shucking in China.
Here are the 13 best cookbooks of the season, according to my colleagues here on the Food desk.
It has nothing to do with cakes or ale, but the Paris Review has published Margaret Atwood’s new introduction to Lewis Hyde’s indispensable book “The Gift,” which I think helped put me on the road to writing and thinking about culture and criticism for a living. Both are worth reading.
Finally, via the terrific Dust-to-Digital, here’s Etta James singing “Tell Mama” at the Monterey Jazz Festival, sometime in the 1980s. Enjoy that. See you on Sunday.