When my mom moved into an assisted living apartment a few years ago, she gave me a large box full of recipe clippings she’d collected over the years. Her new digs included meals; after years of cooking, she said she looked forward to being served meals instead.
One of my projects during this stay-at-home time has been to sort through this box of recipes sourced from various newspapers and women’s magazines over the years. I’ve sorted them into binders by categories such as pasta, salads, etc. so I can easily find something that I have the ingredients for and/or am in the mood to cook. And each week I’ve used these clippings to make some new menu items for Keith and me. After the meal we rate them — “I’d give it a 7.” “Seems about a 6.5” “That’s a definite 8.” Anything deemed “a keeper” goes into my permanent recipe file and the clipping gets tossed. I love getting rid of paper clutter and trying new recipes at the same time.
One recipe I made the other day was not from my mother’s box, but rather something I had been hanging onto for 25 years. It was a souvenir from a time I had visited Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord, MA. The calligraphy and illustrations were so charming that I had it framed and hung it in my kitchen. Someday, I told myself, I will make that. In the meantime, I was just content to look at it from time to time.
Now, I had lots of time for baking and the ingredients in the cupboard. Besides, I had an idea for another way I wanted to use the picture frame. It was time.
Time for: Louisa May Alcott’s Apple Slump. Slump? What is slump, you ask? Well, it’s a bit like a coffee cake with apples. And, like a lot of old recipes, it’s not overly sweet and is easy to make — simple and satisfying. Inexpensive too. This last point was probably a big factor for the Alcott family. Like many folks today, for Lousa and her family, financial concerns were a worry. Perhaps slump was a splurge for the Alcotts, I don’t know. But, I do know it’s yummy and fun to bake. And versatile. A good recipe for breakfast, teatime, or after supper. When we can start having visitors again, I’m looking forward to making it for friends & family. “Slump?” they’ll say. “What is slump?”
In the meantime, if you make the recipe (click on the thumbnail above for a larger version), please let me know what you think of it. I hope you will like it as much as Keith and I did. And, how often does one get to try a recipe that is over 150 years old?