Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

Okay, I know I posted an Apple Butter recipe just last week, but I found myself with a bunch of apples lately. I discovered  this apple crisp recipe from a book that I brought back with me from grandma and pa’s farm in Nebraska but I bet that the recipe book was originally owned by my Great Aunt Eunice, since she lived in Denver for many years. This recipe is quite simple, doesn’t require many ingredients and is tasty on it’s own or with a bowl of ice cream.

I will say that this dish doesn’t have the presentation points as a Brown Betty or Cobbler does, but it’s still very delicious!

Easy Apple Crisp
(serves 6)

6 tart apples
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup water
½ cup general purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
3 tablespoons butter

Pare, core and slice apples. Put in a greased baking dish. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples. Pour water over all. Mix together the flour and white sugar and cut in the butter. Sprinkle this crumbly mixture over the apples. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 50 – 55 minutes, or until apples are tender and the top is brown. Serve after slightly cooled with whipped topping, sweetened cream to which has been added some vanilla flavoring.

Recipe by: Freda Klingenberg
Published by Phoebe Circle, Augustana Lutheran Church

Saints Together in the Kitchen: a cookbook by the women of Augustana Lutheran Church of Denver, Colorado, titled after the Bible Study Series, “Saints Together” November 1967.Red and Green Apples

{Peterson Family Photos}

I don’t usually post many family photos on my blog but these photos are especially dear to me. I spent some time over the summer with my grandma Betty and grandpa Harold Peterson. I’d listen to their stories like how they met (that’s an especially good one)… about grandpa’s time in the US Army during the Korean Conflict… how grandpa worked his tail off on the family farm… their trip to Europe… grandma’s 49 years as a school teacher… laughing about their trip to Chicago when they visited my husband and I. Grandpa ended the conversation that day with “Yep, we had a pretty good life.”  That  just made my heart melt with happiness.

Grandma is currently residing in the Bertrand Nursing Home. Grandpa passed away on September 17 (his 86th birthday) this year. Below are a few photographs that grandpa gave me on one of those last visits I had with him.

Grandpa Harold Peterson's parents: John Peter and Anna Cecilla (Nelson)
Grandpa Harold Peterson’s parents: John Peter and Anna Cecilla (Nelson)
John Peter and Anna Cecilla Sod House
John Peter Sod House (part of Homestead Act).
Harold Peterson
Harold Peterson with his first sheep
Harold Peterson US Army
Grandpa Harold Peterson – US Army
Harold and Betty Peterson with Dennis
Harold and Betty Peterson with Dennis Peterson (my dad) at baptism.
Harold Peterson with his sons
Harold Peterson with his sons: Dennis, David and John Paul
Grandma Betty Lou (Smith) Peterson
Grandma Betty Lou (Smith) Peterson

Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe

Last week, I was back on the farm with my family… along with 2 bushels of apples. So my 12 year-old niece, 11 year-old nephew and I decided to make homemade apple butter. It’s an easy recipe for kids to follow with a “grown-up” to supervise. We made a two large batches (one with less cinnamon). The recipe that we used required a food mill or a chinois sieve but I found this recipe from my grandma’s recipe book that just requires the use of a crock pot. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Grandma Betty’s Recipe for Crock Pot Apple ButterApple Butter

4 apples peeled and cored, sliced
2 cups of sugar
½ cup of water
2 tablespoons cider vinager
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg

Stir together. Set crock pot on high. Cook for 5-6 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from crock pot and cool down. Serve on buttered toast. Store in jars or freeze in zip lock bags.

Photo credit: Simply Recipes

Understanding your customers

I recently came across this article by Kerry Bodin about Virgin Mobile’s customer insights. The execs at Virgin Mobile strive for the best for their brand… and so they took an outside view in on what the brand actually meant for their customers.

As it turns out, the direction that Virgin Mobile had planned to create hundreds of plans for customers to select ultimately changed to a greater understanding of smaller amounts of choices based on the customer feedback.

With all of the seemingly simple methods to collect customer feedback, I’m wondering what other brands follow this lead? Do you hear from the brands and companies that you love asking for your feedback?

Here’s the article in full:

Customer Understanding: Do You Really Know What Your Customers Want And Need?

Posted by Kerry Bodine on July 23, 2012

Right now, companies around the world are barreling down a perilous path — one that isn’t illuminated by customer insights. These companies might think they know what their customers want, but Forrester’s research shows that most companies today have an incomplete — or worse, downright wrong — understanding of who their customers are, how they perceive the current interactions, and what they want and need in the future.

In Forrester’s soon-to-publish book, Outside In, Harley Manning and I illustrate the importance of customer understanding through a case study about Virgin Mobile Australia. The company recently earned the No. 1 spot in customer satisfaction in its market. But in their hearts, Virgin Mobile’s execs knew that the customer experience they provided was pretty much indistinguishable from those of their competitors. And for a company operating under the Virgin brand name, that was a big problem.

Matt Anderson, the former COO of Virgin Mobile, told me, “We weren’t interested in being up to par with industry standards. We wanted to create a differentiated customer experience: one that was uniquely Virgin.” To do that, the company had to take an outside-in view and examine what the Virgin brand meant from the customer perspective.

So Virgin asked some of its customers to create online diaries, and every day for a week asked them questions about Virgin’s brand values: simplicity, fairness, and control. (Words we all naturally associate with our wireless carriers, right?)

Here’s how one customer answered those questions: “I feel like I’m out of control when I am cooking without a recipe. It makes me feel like I am not getting the best possible result. I know the ingredients that I have at hand would make a nice dish, but I cannot get there.”

Before this study, Virgin Mobile thought “control” meant giving customers options to modify their contracts based on their individual needs. To that end, the company was about to move from 19 standard billing plans to a system where customers could slice and dice hundreds of different plan features any way they wanted, like some kind of giant telecom salad bar.

But the diaries indicated that infinite options weren’t what customers wanted at all. To customers, “control” meant having a greater understanding of a smaller number of choices. This was a critical insight — one that compelled the Virgin Mobile execs to change their strategic direction and one that they wouldn’t have learned had they been content to rely on what they thought their customers wanted.

Thinking you know what customers want is incredibly risky. Knowing what they want leads to customer experiences that matter.

Customer understanding is just one of six disciplines that companies must master if they want to achieve the full potential of customer experience. The others are strategy, design, measurement, governance, and culture.  Of course, most of these concepts aren’t new in the business world — but they do take on a slightly different twist when it comes to customer experience. If you’d like to know more about the six disciplines and how they’ll help you create great experiences for your customers, please visit outsidein.forrester.com.

%d bloggers like this: