I arrived at the bakery at 6:00 am sharp to find Baker Frank and Mike feeding apples to a horse. The horse was pulling a buggy with a Christmas tree in the back.
Carol: Good morning guys!
Mike & Frank: Good morning! We’re feeding Tooter some apples!
Mike: I love feeding apples to horses!
Frank: I made a trade in the fall with the guy that has an apple orchard in the country. I traded him all sorts of baked goods for two huge crates of apples.
Carol: That horse’s name is Tooter? Heh. Hi Tooter! Heeheee! Tooter!
Carol: Hi Tommy! Nice to meet you! This is a great set up you’ve got here. You transport Christmas trees around in an old fashioned buggy. How quaint!
Tommy: Yup. It’s a great marketing gig – everyone wants to buy Christmas trees from the guy with the horse and buggy. This is my winter job. Tooter and I work for the circus during the spring and summer months. I’m a trick pony rider! Watch!
Tommy: Tada! Thank you very much!
Carol: Tommy, you are amazing! You and Tooter are the very first circus performers I’ve ever met. Here, Tooter! Have another apple!
Tommy: Well, I’d better get going. Tooter’s had about 10 apples and I need to get this tree over to Paul’s tree lot. I’ll see you guys later!
Carol: Bye Tommy! It was great to meet you! Hey Frank, did you say have had tons of apples?
Frank: Yup. Why?
Carol: How about I try a recipe for Santa Clause using your apples? I was at a Christmas Market recently and had delicious dessert called Brataepfel – a special German baked apple – they serve especially around Christmas time. Maybe Santa would like something a bit more, um, healthy when he visits us this year?
Frank: Well…I don’t usually like to let someone use my kitchen like this, but I suppose I could let you do this just once.
Carol: Why don’t you and Mike go hang out somewhere while I work on this dessert?
Frank & Mike: Okay. Here. Take these apples!
Carol: Thanks! Bye guys! I’ll let you know when you can come back to try this delicious dessert!
I waved to them as I walked into Frank’s kitchen and tried to remember all the ingredients in the baked apple. There were nuts and raisins, cinnamon, some ginger…oh, and a delicious vanilla sauce that was heavily drizzled all over the hot baked apple. Mmmm…in my mind’s eye, I could see the steam rising off the apple in the cold winter afternoon. It really was a delicious treat.
I got cracking on coring the apples and putting together all the ingredients to put in the oven. Just then, Frank crashed my baked apple party:
Carol: Just you wait, Frank! Once the vanilla sauce is on it, you’ll be begging for my recipe!
And with that, I got to work on the vanilla sauce…
TO BE CONTINUED…