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The upside of having a child home sick, is having someone around to help me figure out my iphone. Once she had it fixed, I figured I’d get a two-fer, and asked her why the desk top computer was unresponsive. “I only deal with apple products,” she said. Wow, sixth graders are so specialized now. “Well what’s the computer, then?” “Just a computer,” replied my pocket-sized, sneezing, IT department.

She had a roaring good time at a birthday party yesterday, where the girls got to make their own cheesecakes (That’s an activity I would never allow a passel of girls to undertake on my watch. God bless other mothers!). But she returned home sounding like she had contracted a mash-up of consumption and croup. I don’t think she’s a smoker, but then, I am not a helicopter parent.

So I am home today after canceling lunch with an old friend I was going to meet up with in Tacoma. A child-free ladies’ lunch at the wonderful Indo, followed by a pistachio cake from Arthouse Cafe, will have to wait for a day when no one is running a temperature and requesting ramen every 30 minutes. Burdened by first world problems, I sensed my mood going south. Eaters, you know what that means: it was time to bake.

A bagful of tasteless, pulpy apples had been pouting in my garage for a month. I didn’t know Gala apples could be that unpalatable.They were no good for eating, so I decided to give them a second chance in a baked good. I peeled them (this is nothing like the odious task of peeling potatoes, a horrid business I never take part in) and plopped them in water with some lemon juice to keep them from turning brown (why does it matter if you are just going to bake them? I have no idea). I sliced them, and then tossed them with 2 tablespoons of sugar, a couple dashes of cinnamon and cardamom, a pinch of salt, about a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and a couple teaspoons, or so, of lemon juice. It’s important to do all this to your taste. Keep mixing and tasting until you get the right balance of sweet, tart and spice. And I can’t say exactly how many apples to use because they vary in size. Okay, use more than 6, but less than 20.

I wasn’t going to go to the store, because I had already been there once in search of healthy ramen, so I used what was in my fridge for the crumble: 3/4 cup rice flour, 3/4 cup almond flour, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 3 tablespoons cold butter, a dash of vanilla, and a 1/4 teaspoon salt (adjust this to your taste too). This is quick and easy with a KitchenAid mixer, but I decided to do it by hand, in order not to interrupt my daughter’s soothing podcast. I sprinkled the crumble over the top and baked it at 350 for 40 minutes (you know I am going to say it: baking time will vary by oven and the well-documented capriciousness of apples, and bakers).

Maybe my daughter will teach me how to download podcasts, if that’s not above her pay grade. Say hello to the future, indeed.

Stay well,

marycake

P.S. Apple’s site states: “Anything you can do, you can do better.” Those are the most dispiriting words. I prefer the adage of my husband’s former boss: “Anything worth doing, is worth doing badly.”

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