So, yes. Because I am from New England, and because I refuse to age (mentally) past 5 years old, we go apple picking for my birthday. Fortunately, this happens in the beginning of October, when apples can in fact be picked with relative ease. Since moving to D.C., this usually entails a schlep out Rte 66 (decidedly NOT the groovy one of song…) to Virginia, where we picnic, pick apples, and generally frolic about. Lovely. The apples we pick, usually from the tree, sometimes from the ground, vary in size and quality from year to year though I have learned to limit myself to one 1/2 bushel bag.
That is still, however, a lot of apples. This inspires a spate of apple-related cooking every fall and one of the first things I make with my haul of tart green apples is the following pork and apple hot pot. It’s a sweet and savory casserole of pork, apples, onions, and bacon that is a perfect dish for the first chill evenings of fall. Cooked low and slow with beer, cider, mustard, and warm spices, it’s time-consuming if basic cooking that is appropriately domestic goddess-y as the original recipe comes from cashmere food pornographer par excellence, Nigella Lawson.