Sunday, November 9, 2008

Election Day Harassment and All-American Apple Sauce

raw apples

Unlike the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Florida, California was pretty much a lock for Mr. Obama from the outset. I didn't get a single phone call to try to win my vote. Even when I went to vote last Tuesday, I wasn't harassed for being a liberal or a conservative; I was, however, harassed because I don't like stickers.

After I voted, an impossibly-perky, election worker armed with a roll of stickers stopped me on my way out:

Perky young election worker: Wait! Wait! You forgot your "I Voted" sticker.

Me: Oh, no thank you.

Perky young election worker: You don't want a sticker?

Me: No, thanks.

Perky young election worker: But how will people know you voted?

Me: Well, as long as I know I voted, right?

Perky young election worker: Well, at least take a sticker for your husband. (Jabbing the stickers towards me.)

Me: No thanks. He won't want a sticker either.

Perky young election worker: (Now drawing attention to us from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents) But how do you know he doesn't want a sticker?

Me: OK. I'll take his sticker.

Perky young election worker: Are you sure you don't want your own sticker?

Me: (fearing for my safety) OK, sure. I'll take a sticker.

I felt like I was in the Seinfeld episode when Kramer refuses to wear the AIDS ribbon during an AIDS walk:

Feeling patriotic (and now safely away from intense polling girl), I decided to go home and make an all-American apple pie. Then I remembered that I really don't like making pie crusts that much, so I made all-American apple sauce instead.

cranberry, raisin, and walnut apple sauce

This Cranberry, Raisin, and Walnut Apple Sauce is a variation on my basic homemade apple sauce. It gets a kick of flavor from tart cranberries and sweet raisins. Enjoy it as is or serve it warm with a scoop of creamy vanilla bean ice cream. After all, ice cream always gets bi-partisan support.

Homemade Cranberry, Raisin, and Walnut Apple Sauce
Yields 5 cups, cooked
Print recipe only here.

8 McIntosh, Rome Beauty or other sweet apples (about 8 cups), peeled and chopped**
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
3 cups water
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Place all ingredients from apples through nutmeg in a deep pot. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, or until the apples begin to break down. Lower to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes, or until the apples are completely soft. Stir well with a spoon until a thick sauce forms.

Leave a few lumps and bumps in it or puree it in a blender for a smooth finish. Just make sure to let it cool first before pouring it the blender! Stir in the raisins and walnuts. Let the sauce cool before serving.

**Like Jeff's mom, Dorothy, of Dorothy's Broccoli Pasta and Italian Almond Biscotti, I leave the skin on one or two apples to impart a warm reddish color to the sauce. If you don't like the texture of the skin, you can puree the sauce until it dissolves.

You might also like these recipes featuring apples:

Crunchy Veg Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Apple, Fennel, and Celery Salad

Red Lentil Mulligatawny with Apple-Celery Salsa

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