CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Northwood Apple Crisp

One of the harbingers of summer is the blooming apple trees of spring. The sight of a fully blossomed-out apple tree with the morning sun shining upon it is one of the more spectacular and pleasant views in nature.

I’ve been enjoying this experience daily on my two to three neighborhood walks with my dog, Sweetie, all the while wishing it would be like this all summer

applecrisp1But alas, there’s only a window of one to two weeks when the apple trees are flowering in the spring. After that, they are just another tree to a lot of people.

But don’t count me in that group. I can hardly wait until fall to harvest some of my neighbors’ beautiful apples, some of which are enjoyed just as they are, while others find their way into vacuumed-seal bags to to be used during the winter in number of desserts. And lest I forget, a half-dozen sealed jars filled with a premade apple pie sauce mixture.

One of may favorite desserts to make with apples is apple crisp. And I have a sure-fire recipe that’s simple, tasty and brings back many memories.

The Northwood Apple Crisp recipe, which was given to me by my friend and former co-worker, Marsha Gunderson, is a family favorite. Marsha told me that the recipe was one that was used by cooks at her school in Northwood, N.D. If I recall correctly, they gave it to Marsha as a gift when she married.

The apple crisp reminded me a lot of the dessert that I had as a schoolkid when growing up in Crookston, Minn. My aunt, Helen Tiedeman, who was head cook at the Cathedral School, told me the recipe was one that came from the government, which supplied a lot of commodities to school lunch programs back in the 1950s and 1960s. I believe Northwood had the same recipe.

Aa few years later, Lois Durkin, the mother of another former co-worker, Jim Durkin, told me her recipe was exactly the same as mine. She says he mother, also a school cook, gave it to her.

Regardless, it’s a recipe that is a winner.

Northwood School Apple Crisp
6 cups apples
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup butter
½ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon to taste
Put apples in a 8-by-13-inch baking dish sprayed with  cooking oil. Cover with white sugar and sprinkle on some cinnamon.
Mix the remaining ingredients for the topping and put  on top of apple mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with ice cream.

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Jeff Tiedeman

About Chef Jeff Name: Jeff Tiedeman, former Grand Forks Herald food editor Alias: Chef Jeff. Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota. Gender: Male. Birthday: April 9, 1951. Occupation: Journalist and blogger. About Me: I was born and raised in Crookston, Minn. I attended Cathedral High School for two years and Mount St. Benedict High School for two years, graduating in 1969. I attended the University of Minnesota-Crookston, Corbett College, Bemidji State University and Moorhead State University, where I graduated in 1974 with a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications. During college, I worked on the MSU Advocate and was sports editor for two years. I also worked part time at the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead while attending MSU. I joined the Grand Forks Herald in August 1974 as a part-time sportswriter, going full time in November 1974. I was food editor at the Herald from the mid-1990s to February 2013. My Interests: Cooking, gardening, hunting.

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