- Joe & Mary Wood and Wayne & Dan Mast show how Maryland's old tobacco farms have been repurposed in a number of unique ways.
- Harford County family farmers Zach, Nancy and Greg Rose plant fields of cheery sunflowers to meet the demands of flower-loving agri-tourists.
- Then & Now: Silos and silage
- Local Buy: Al Spoler visits Catoctin Mountain Orchard to take a look at Fall's favorite fruit: the apple.
I say potato; you say potahto. I say corn cutter; you say corn knife... or scythe... or sickle. This farm implement, which goes by many different names, was used to harvest or "mow" corn stalks by hand. Corn cutters such as this one have largely been replaced by tractor machinery, although they are still used in some parts of the world.
Did you know that 2,500 distinct varieties of apple are grown in the US alone? With so many different apples to choose from, picking the right fruit for your needs can get a little overwhelming. Granny Smiths are the traditional choice for baking, but try taking a step outside the box this year with a dozen Pink Ladies from Catoctin Mountain Orchard in Frederick. Sweet, tart and sturdy - Pink Lady apples are perfect for your holiday apple pie and for munching on raw.
from "Dishing Up Maryland" by Lucie Snodgrass
Need a break from the ubiquitous apple pie? Try an apple cake instead! Snodgrass recommends making this cake with tart apples, since the batter itself is sweet. Yields 12 servings.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups diced tart apples (about 4 apples)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Dust 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- Beat the vegetable oil and the sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for 2 minutes at a high speed. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
- Add the apples and the walnuts. Continue to beat and gradually add the flour, the remaining teaspoon cinnamon, the salt, baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla extract. The batter will be very stiff.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, distributing it evenly. Bake for 60 minutes, until a knife blade inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 1 hour.
For the icing
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the brown sugar and the heavy cream and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until thick.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and let the icing cool slightly.
- Pour and spread the icing over the cooled cake.
from the 2011 Maryland Buy Local Cookbook
If you prefer to take your apple-a-day before dinner, this is the salad for you. Developed by the chef at DaddyO's Restaurant in Cecil County, the additions of creamy gorgonzola and crunchy walnuts make this recipe the perfect mixture of savory and sweet.
For the salad
- 1 Milburn apple cut in 1/4 inch dices
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 oz Gorgonzola cheese
- 1 ripe tomato, quartered
- 6 oz field greens
For the vinaigrette
- 1 turn of peppermill
- 1/4 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp garlic
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 3/4 cup blended oil
For the salad
- Heat 1 oz blended oil in a small sauté pan. Add apples, walnuts and sugar. Sautee 2 minutes until lightly caramelized.
- Place greens, tomato and cheese on plate, top with apples and walnuts, and finish with balsamic vinaigrette.
For the vinaigrette
- Blend all ingredients except oil in a food processor, then slowly add oil. Yields 1 cup.
Apple picking season may be long past, but never fear – Catoctin Mountain Orchard in Thurmont is ready to satisfy all of your Maryland apple needs, with Honeycrisps, Pink Ladies, Fujis and more available for purchase through March 1.