“It’s as American as apple pie!” Although I cannot say the same for us; us being my husband, my daughter and I. Little James, however, was born right here in New York City, a fact that permits him a certain freedom that the rest of us fought so ferociously to obtain.
As I rode the taxi from Newark Airport towards my home in Battery Park, that long-awaited day we were finally able to re-enter the United States after 13 months in Toronto, Canada, I couldn’t help but chuckle, a most sarcastic of chuckles.
I had been telling the cab driver why we had been away, “awaiting our Green Card”, I told him, and he in turn narrated for me his personal immigration story: having arrived at the airport in New York in the ’70s and being handed a Green Card on the spot, just like that, without any bureaucracy, without anything at all really. I responded with, “well… things have changed a little bit since then.”
Had they ever. What was supposed to have been approximately 8 months, turned into 13. We were away from our home, without most of our clothes, toys, my dear kitchen supplies, and of course more importantly, our friends.
Fortunately for us, we were blessed with meeting and knowing, who we now call our close Torontonian friends, who made our difficult journey much less difficult and much more rewarding.
So here we are; was it worth it? There is so much criticism of America, especially when speaking of the current political climate, the racial unrest, the healthcare system and gun control issues, and it is hard to ignore especially coming from such a peaceful, positive and open-minded country such as Canada.
I answer as so: my home is where my family is, and there rests my heart. America has provided us a job, a job which permits us a home, food on the table and clothes on our back. It has gifted us friends that we can call family, and for this I am eternally grateful. While those issues previously stated do weigh on my mind, like all issues we are faced with, we deal with them, not run from them, and we find a way to live above them. So yes, it was worth it. And with that, it may not be as American as Apple Pie, but it certainly tastes just as good. I give you Apple Crisp.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
3 lbs apples (such as Gala, Empire, Braeburn), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt and 2 tbsp of granulated sugar.
Cut butter into flour using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal.
Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large moist clumps form.
Transfer to fridge to chill while you prepare apples.
In another bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon and remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.
Transfer to shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture.
Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet to prevent spilling onto oven racks, and bake until golden brown and bubbling. about 55-65 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Note: It is best served while it is still warm from the oven, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.
Also, the secret to a chunky topping is working the oat mixture into large clumps with your hands; this helps the topping hold together while toasting to a golden brown.
Click below for video instruction: