No one ever told me how terrific becoming a grandma would be. Yes, my parents doted on my kids. They kvelled. But they never mentioned that the very best thing about growing older was spending time with their children’s children.
I am here to bellow the news. Hear this all you young folks: whatever the frustrations of raising kids, changing diapers, losing sleep (when they are infants and again when they are teenagers), finding the right school, and worrying about head lice and poison ivy, it’s all worth it. When the grandkids visit and give you hugs and giggle with you in the dark, eat your special macaroni and cheese, or ask you to come to their dance performance at school--it's worth it.
I am fortunate that my children live about an hour away and visit often. I'm even more fortunate that three of my grandchildren are old enough to cook with me. It is a special time for all of us. Zev, 10, knows how to scoop and measure ingredients such as flour. His sister Nina, 4.5, and cousin Lila, 5.5, have learned to braid challah dough.
Cooking with them not only gives me a chance to teach them culinary skills (and sneak in some basic math), but it is also a time when I can talk about my grandma and my childhood. So they can know who I am and put some good memories in the memory box for “someday.”
While we usually make this apple crisp together for Rosh Hashanah, it is also great for Sukkot because of the new harvest of apples.
It's fitting that my grandchildren recently helped me with a batch. It was my dad’s favorite dessert; Zev is named for him. It was my mom's recipe--now it's mine.
5-6 tart apples (Macoun, Jonagold, or Golden Delicious are the best), peeled and sliced
1/4 and 1/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups raisin bran or oat bran flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the apple slices in a baking dish (I usually use a 9x13, but you could use an oval of similar size, or a 9x9 square.)
3. Add the 1/4 cup sugar, melted butter, cinnamon and salt and toss the ingredients to mix them completely and coat the apples with the seasonings.
4. In a mixing bowl beat the butter, 1/3 sugar and flour together until well blended.
5. Add the cereal and stir until the mixture looks like crumbles.
6. Scatter the crumbles over the apples.
7. Cover the pan with foil or a lid. Bake for 25 minutes.
8. Remove the cover and bake for about 15 minutes or until the apples are tender and the top is golden brown and crispy.
Best when still warm. Makes 6 servings
For more ways to use apples, try our apple cake, apple and raisin kugel, and apple and honey whole-wheat sandwich bread.