Thursday, February 25, 2010

Culinary Olympics

When I thought about this competition I decided I wanted to accomplish two things.  I wanted  a recipe that reflected some type of traditional cooking or baking. I felt that there wasn't anything more traditional than the down home mountain baking which occurs in Appalachia. And secondly I wanted  to bring attention to hunger in the US.  As we all know it's not just 3rd world countries who experience poverty and hunger. I found this article from a recent newswire.
"46 percent Increase in U.S. Citizens Receiving Emergency Food. 37 Million Americans, Including 14 Million Children, at Risk of Hunger"

"CHICAGO, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A landmark study released today from Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, reports that more than 37 million people, one in eight Americans -- including 14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors -- receive emergency food each year through the nation's network of food banks and the agencies they serve. The findings represent a staggering 46 percent increase since the organization's previously released study in 2006."

 In searching for recipe ideas- I came across a site by Mark Sohn along with his recipe for Apple Cakes.  It is from his book Appalachian Home Cooking,History , Culture & Recipes .  If you know anything about Appalachia it has a very high poverty level and has been the focus of many studies and articles dealing with hunger.

What the author  has to say about the Apple Cakes:
"Like prune cakes, carrot cakes, or pumpkin cakes, we make fresh apple cakes with either oil or margarine. Some add cinnamon, allspice, raisins, coconut, and butterscotch chips. You may also vary the cake by reducing the flour by a cup and adding a cup of rolled oats. Try the basic cake, and then try one of the variations."-Mark Sohn

I thought this  recipe was a perfect fit for what I wanted to accomplish.
So all that being said here is my entry for the Blogger Aid Changing the Face of Famine Culinary Olympics. 


Fresh Apple Cakes

Yield: 12 servings.

1 cup  margarine at room temperature

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 cups chopped raw apples

1 cup (1/2-inch-size) black walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Select, grease, and flour a 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Peel, core, and dice the apples into 3/4 inch pieces. Cream the margarine and sugar, and when they are well-mixed and a bit white, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Mix and sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir this into the butter mixture. The batter will be thick.

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the apples and walnuts. Spread and scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes or until it has browned across the top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 1/2 hour and cut into 12 pieces.

It was delicious with a side of butter pecan ice cream !

The members of BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine have published a cookbook where 100% of the proceeds target children and education through the World Food Programme called School Meals. Purchases can be made by clicking the cookbook cover above.


  1. This dessert represents your country very well Sandy fro the Culinary Olympics. The statistics for both Canada and the US are rising in these econom,ic times. The data is startling so thank you for reminding us that we need to help those in our own cities as well.

  2. I actually started drooling when I saw your apple cake!! Looks so delicious!!