Wow. Where did November go? It seems like only yesterday that I was posting about the autumn foliage at the beginning of the month. That’s all been replaced by a decidedly grayer, duller backdrop of bare branches- but the Advent decorations are coming up and adding a cheeriness to it all.
This month flew by. Since the last time I posted, I began actual object-based research at the museum (more on that in another post), sent a few applications for funding off into the ether and became a legal guest-resident of Germany. The last bit was probably the most gratifying of the three: it’s the only thing that feels like it had a tangible result.
The grant applications and revision process for the first chapter have been tough. It feels like not much has happened since last year in terms of “results.” You others in my boat know what I’m talking about- you start thinking: wow, a year has passed and somehow I have more unresolved questions- no, let’s call them major methodological and practical issues- than I had before.
Cesar’s probably heard the most of my daily complaints, and thanks to him for being patient. He also finished a major research paper this month, a study of annotation habits in e-readers, and is coming away from DePaul with a Masters’. Cheers to that!
I’m getting very excited about coming back to Chicago for another check-in and it being the holiday season and all, doing some serious, non-dissertation-related activities like cooking. Speaking of cooking: I made this apple popover almost three weeks ago and am just getting around to posting it. For that, I’m definitely not proud. This blog was supposed to take a more active role here in Berlin, and it seems to have fallen by the wayside during all the mental chaos of the last month. I think I know what my new years’ resolution is going to be already….
Notes: For this recipe, I used Boskoop apples from Neue Brandenburger Äpfel (at Winterfeldtmarkt in the row of vendors furthest to the west of the square). These were the ones the lady recommended me for baking, and they did admirably. You can use any firm apple on the sour side. You don’t want to use one that’s already sweet or mushy, as they will take on both of those qualities during baking anyway. The recipe I used called for 1/4 cup sugar and 2 apples for the “filling.” I thought it was a touch too sweet. I upped the apples and decreased the sugar.
Giant Apple Popover (Recipe adapted from The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook)
3 baking apples (e.g. Boskoop, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious)
4 tbs unsalted butter
3 tbs sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
(For the batter)
1 cup milk at room temp
1 tbs melted butter
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Core, peel and cut the apples into 1/4-inch slices
Melt the 4 tbs of butter in a saucepan. If you have cast iron, use that and you can put it straight in the oven later. Sauté the apples with the sugar and cinnamon until just soft. Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and stir. Let this mixture sit for around 20 minutes to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
To make the batter, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until evenly mixed. Add the flour and salt and beat until very smooth and consistent.
If you aren’t using a cast-iron skillet, transfer the apple mixture into a pie pan. Pour the batter directly over the apple mixture. Put this in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 425.
Then, reduce the heat to 350 and bake until the popover is golden brown, probably around 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the popover cool in the oven for another 10 minutes or so. Don’t open the door during this time.
Serve with strong, black coffee