Apple Moonshine Blondies

The hardest thing for me to get used to in New Orleans is one of the things I like most about it. But I also hate it. It’s ridiculous.

See, I’m not a people person. I’m shy, and awkward, and really really don’t know how to handle it when strangers strike up conversations out of the blue.

Everyone is just so darn nice here. They all want to talk. They’re friendly. They actually wait, looking interested in your answer, after saying “hi, how are you?” I just want to run away and hide in the produce department until they’ve all gone. Maybe I could live there, among the collard greens.

Feeding people is a way to show that I care without actually having to interact with anyone.

My first visit to the local grocery store involved no fewer than four conversations with strangers. While I was just shopping quietly. First a lovely older gentleman asked me whether “that green stuff” I’d just put in my cart was kale. It was not. It was collard greens. Two pounds of them. Don’t judge me. At any rate, I took a few minutes to show the man to the kale, tell him how to cook it, and nod while he complained about his wife making him buy this crap she saw on “that food channel on the TV.” Okay, fine. I’ve got all day to shop, and food is a more than comfortable topic for me. I was even cheerful at the end of it.

Baked goods: a sound method for reducing anxiety

So I moved on from produce. And as I picked up some  soy sauce a teenaged girl in a hoodie came up and said “Hey, what are you having for dinner tonight?”

Huh?

Surely she’s just mistaken me for someone she knows, I thought. But she looked so expectant. “Sorry, me?” I asked.

“Yeah. I don’t know what to make. Give me some ideas. My name’s Sam, by the way.”

“Um. I’m making tacos.” She looked pointedly at the soy sauce. “This is for tomorrow. Teriyaki chicken.”

This was followed by ten minutes of explaining and writing down how to make teriyaki. Again, this is in the middle of an aisle of the grocery store. By this point I was seriously befuddled. I don’t know what I would have done without my grocery list.

Moonshine: an even more reliable way to become more gregarious

The third conversation was expected, at least. It’s normal for customers and clerks to chat in order to avoid awkward silences during check out.

Still. She took one look at my driver’s license and said “You ain’t from Dallas.”

“Excuse me?”

“Dallas. That’s not where you’re from originally. You’re a small town girl. I can tell.”

It’s true, actually, though my small town in South Florida has gotten pretty big since I’ve moved away. At this point, I’d surpassed my ability to converse with strangers for the day. I had a ton of groceries, which seemed like a good excuse to go home.

Unfortunately, I had a ton of groceries. Unfortunately, everyone around here is unreasonably nice. So a random guy in the parking lot offered to help me load my car. While talking nonstop about football. (Thanks for the help, random guy, but to be honest I wasn’t even sure what sport the Saints played until halfway through that conversation*. Sorry.)

Yup, sounds good right about now.

So basically, everyone here is very friendly and it’s very nice and I just want to hide in my apartment alone and talk to people on the Internet like God intended from now on. And bake blondies. With liquor in them. Everything’s better with moonshine, right?

Ingredients (makes an 8×8″ pan of bars, about 12-16 servings)

1 stick/8 T/ 1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 T apple flavored moonshine. Or Goldschlager. Or just a nice bourbon.

1 C flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1 T cinnamon

2 apples (I used a gala and a Braeburn, because that’s what was in the apartment)

1 C butterscotch chips (substitute nuts if you like. My way is less healthy, but way tastier.)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl.

Cream them well and add an egg.

Add moonshine, too. Mix just to combine.

Add the flour, leavenings, salt, and cinnamon. Mix just to combine.

Peel and chop your apples. (If Arctic Apples get put on the market, you’ll be able to do this ahead of time without them browning. I want to play with this feature.)

Add the apple bits and butterscotch chips (or nuts, if using)

Fold them into the batter.

Butter an 8×8″ pan and spread the batter evenly into it.

Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes. These are easier to cut once they’ve cooled, but it’s hard to wait that long.

They are ooey-gooey, tasty, apple-filled delights. Serve alone, or with a shot of moonshine (no, grandma, I’m not an alcoholic. The flavors are complementary.), or the very best way, with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream. Devour.

*The Saints do play football, right? I hope so, because otherwise I made an ass of myself in that convesation.

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  1. #1 by noodle21 on October 2, 2012 - 9:25 PM

    Is this a New Orleans recipe by chance? Or just something you put together?

    • #2 by koshercorvid on October 2, 2012 - 9:51 PM

      It’s just a riff on a blondie recipe I saw a while back–I wish I could remember where, but I can’t. I know absolutely nothing about New Orleans cuisine, except that there seems to be a great deal of shellfish and a dearth of green things. I’m sure I’ll learn eventually!

  2. #3 by lexy3587 on October 3, 2012 - 8:04 AM

    That looks amazing and delicious. New Orleans sounds like an awesomely friendly place – I love random conversations with strangers (though that could be more influenced by the fact that Torontonians are distinctly un-chatty). especially Sam asking you to give her ideas for dinner 🙂 You’re going to get the reputation of ‘that lady who knows recipes’ at the grocery store!

    • #4 by koshercorvid on October 3, 2012 - 11:47 AM

      It seems pretty neat so far, I must admit. As far as reputation, I’m already “that woman who actually eats the decorative pumpkins” to the staff there. For some reason the concept of cooking a tasty winter squash is completely foreign to them. When I do pick up a pumpkin for Jack-o-lantern purposes, they’re going to assume it’s for a dinner party!

  3. #5 by Ariel on October 14, 2012 - 12:47 AM

    Oh my god, you’re adorkable.

    Okay, so the Saints are not only a football team, they were a tragically terrible but still beloved football team until they miraculously won the superbowl a few years ago as a sort of divine repayment to new orleans for visiting the horror of katrina/rita on them. or something. If someone says ‘Who ‘dat?” this is what they are talking about.

    Any chance you could take some awesome photos of the French quarter about now? I miss it especially near Halloween. That city was DESIGNED for spooky.

    • #6 by koshercorvid on October 14, 2012 - 10:03 AM

      I think you just mean “a dork”. And you know I don’t know the first thing about team sports (thank you for explaining “who dat”; I thought it was some kind of bizarre greeting).

      I’m going to Metairie Cemetery today to explore and take pictures. French Quarter soonish, hopefully.

  4. #7 by Lynda on November 7, 2012 - 8:52 AM

    I love how you are writing I can just see you there having these conversations, BUT please be careful also Ted Bundy was a good looking guy who prayed on women by asking for help. Be aware of your surroundings and be careful you are a beautiful young woman.
    These brownies are right up my alley, where did you buy moonshine, it it readily available? I have all the ingredients but that and these would be good with my ddinner tonight.

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