Recipes · September

30 Day Gratitude Challenge: Day 10 – TASTE: Connecting, the Missing Piece at American Tables

Here we are on day 10 already of the gratitude challenge! Time certainly does fly, doesn’t it? Seems the older I get the faster time moves and I don’t want to miss a single moment! That’s why I’m here with you now, to see the little things in my everyday life so I don’t miss anything!! Not one single moment.

The focus of today’s gratitude moment is TASTE.

Have you ever watched a movie or a TV show where a group of friends or family are sitting together around a table, whether dining or cafe and the food seems secondary to the conversation and interaction?

I know it’s TV/Movie, and written to evoke emotion, but I believe there are those in this world who are like that. Who know that food is a means to an end, not the main focus. Folks who see food as a way to gather with friends and family, converse, laugh, get reconnected.

I’m going to step out on a limb here and say something a bit controversy….oh no!

I think Americans stink at making connections with the people at their tables!

The food on the table is more the focus, which in my opinion, is backwards! Connection should always be what coming together is about.

Connecting, the missing piece at American Tables

My hubby has traveled the world and I hear stories all the time about how different things are when it comes to food and gathering in other places around the world. He speaks of it being almost celebratory when people come together for a meal. That from what he experienced, the food was a reason to get together not just something you shovel in and then be on your merry way.

He tells tales of sitting with groups of people and how different it was from how he grew up. Yes, he and his family sat at the dinner table together, but it wasn’t about talking and connecting. It was about getting the food in and getting away as fast as possible.

I have to wonder is this true? I don’t mean my hubby is lying to me, I mean are Americans less focused on the people and more on the food where in other places the food is secondary?

I see forks and elbows moving at an unbelievable rate when we sit down to take a meal together. I watch it when we go to dinner out. People are not really interested in WHO they are with but seem to just want to eat and be done with it.

I try to make dinner time around here an experience, not just about sustenance. I work to make it a time where we connect, share, and interact so it’s not just forks and elbows! 🙂

We ask after each other’s day, we ask what blessing we noticed, and we laugh. It’s not as long as I would like it to be but the questions slow us down just a bit.

ALL of that to say this

I’m learning to savor things I taste. I’m finding that by slowing down and enjoying our meals, I’m tasting things differently.

Marinades are popping! Spices are exploding! Things are tasting different with every bend of the elbow.

My mouth explodes with every bite when I slow down and actually enjoy not only the food but the company at my table.

I’d like to share a recipe we recently enjoyed here at our humble abode. It was a great ending to an everyday, ordinary meal we shared. I love special treats and this certainly fits the bill.

The taste I’m grateful for today:

Gluten-Free Caramel Apple Crisp from IowaGirlEats.com

Caramel Apple Crisp
photo courtesy of IowaGirlEats.com

The homemade caramel coupled with the tender cinnamon covered apples, and slightly crunchy crumble is to die for and your mouth is going to be watering even before you get it on your spoon!

The tastes simply work to make eating a pleasure not just something we have to do to survive.

I read somewhere that stressed spelled backward is dessert. Funny how we often turn to food when we’re stressed, maybe there’s a reason for that!! 😉

This crisp is going to ease your stress as it’s simple to make and easy to eat!! It’s a taste of fall and makes me smile just remembering how much my family loved it!

Here’s the recipe so you can enjoy it too!!

Download your copy of the recipe here —> Caramel Apple Crisp with Easy Caramel Sauc1

Caramel Apple Crisp with Easy Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

SERVES 6

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled then thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons + 1/4 cup gluten-free flour baking blend, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup certified gluten-free old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped Fisher Nuts Pecans
  • dash of salt
  • 6 Tablespoons butter cut into pats
  • For the Easy Caramel Sauce (makes 1 cup):
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup half and half
    • 4 Tablespoons butter
    • dash of salt
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

Directions

  1. For the Easy Caramel Sauce: Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir slowly until caramel has thickened, 8-10 minutes, then add vanilla and stir until thickened again, 1 more minute. Remove from heat then let cool slightly. Can be done ahead of time – cool caramel sauce slightly then pour into a mason jar using a funnel and store in the refrigerator. Warm for 30 seconds in the microwave before using.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees then spray a medium-sized baking dish (like 8×8″ or 10×7″) with nonstick spray. Add apple slices to a large bowl then toss with cinnamon and 4 teaspoons flour until well coated. Transfer to the prepared baking dish then drizzle 1/2 cup Easy Caramel Sauce on top.
  3. Combine oats, brown sugar, chopped pecans, remaining 1/4 cup flour, salt, and butter in the bowl then use your fingers to combine mixture until crumbly. Top caramel apples with crisp then bake for 30-40 minutes or until apples are tender and caramel is bubbly. NOTE: If crisp topping begins to brown before apples are tender, gently place a piece of foil on top and continue baking.
  4. Allow Caramel Apple Crisp to cool for 20 minutes-1 hour before scooping into bowls then topping with reserved Easy Caramel Sauce.

Notes

Easy Caramel Sauce from Ree Drummond.

See you next time,

♥ R

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