Ali Edwards has this concept wherein you dedicate your year to one little word as a way to focus, grow, and change throughout 12 short but also long months. I mentioned it here the other day.
Given my life’s recent history, my word could have been something introspective, and brooding, like reflect, or ponder.
This year, I picked celebrate.
I’m working on celebrating. Doesn’t it sound like a challenge?
It’s like when I declared 2010 the summer of cake baking and worked to bake as many cakes as possible. It’s good to have goals. And I’m super excited to have a goal that’s fun.
Toward the end of 2012, I spent a lot of time thinking about gratitude, and I found at least one thing to be grateful for each day. I mean, it worked for Oprah. And celebrate takes gratitude to the next level. It’s one thing to be grateful and it’s another to act on that gratitude. How am I celebrating the people I’m grateful for? How do I celebrate my marriage? How do I celebrate the routines that I live every. single. day?
I want celebrate to be the way I embrace new situations.
I want celebrate to be the way I treat people I love.
I want celebrate to be the way I treat people I don’t even know..
But I think the part that’s going to be the most fun is to see how this word shows up in ways I’m not expecting. Stay tuned, dear readers. I want to stick with this one.
I’m kicking off my year of celebrate with a very un-January, but very celebratory food. Apple crisp. From none other than The Barefoot Contessa. It’s a classic. It’s a cinch to make. And it feeds a crowd.
To make Apple Crisp, you will need:
For the filling:
- 3 1/2 lb. red apples, like McIntosh, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
- 1 1/5 lb. tart apples, like Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
- grated zest of 1/2 orange
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 T freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 C sugar (If you find that to sweet, dial it down to 1/3 C, or even 1/4 C. You know this is going to have a giant scoop of ice cream on top, anyway.)
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
For the topping:
- 1 1/2 C flour
- 3/4 C granulated sugar (1/2 is fine)
- 3/4 C brown sugar (Never skimp on brown sugar. It’s too amazing.)
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 C oats
- 1/2 lb. cold, unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and if you’re feeling truly gluttonous, butter the inside of a 9 x 17 baking dish (If you don’t have one, use something slightly bigger than a 9 x 13. If that won’t work, use a 9 x 13, and pack things in tight.).
Place all the ingredients for the filling in the baking dish, and toss till combined.
You have two options for the topping, one in a mixer and one with your hands. I much prefer using my hands, but when I’m crazy busy, the mixer will have to do. To prepare in the mixer, place all topping ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on low, till butter clumps are the size of small peas. To prepare the old fashioned way, mix all ingredients in a small bowl, using your hands to get the butter all mixed in with everything else. You’ll know you’re finished when the butter clumps are the size of small peas.
Spread topping all over apple mixture.
Place apple crisp on a foil lined baking sheet. You want the dish to rest on this, especially if you’ve filled a 9 x 13 baking dish, because the crisp is likely to bubble up and over the sides of the pan. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can make for a dirty oven. Bake for 1 hour. Serve warm, with giant scoops of vanilla ice cream on top.