I was awakened by a chill that ran over my body. Cool, crisp air filled in the space around me. This is glorious I thought as I pulled the covers just a little tighter around my body, and yet made sure to take in the feel of Autumn’s first breath on my face. True, it was a chill that had run over my body, but it had somehow warmed me from the inside. After all, this wasn’t just any chill. It was a chill from the first day of fall. I rolled over to snuggle up against Craig, and I relished the fact that the air around me was making my nose a little bit cold. It was refreshing. I drifted back to sleep as beautiful leaves, cozy sweaters, and hot chocolate all frolicked together through my mind. Mmmm…the first day of autumn, and, wow, does it feel like it!
Well, I wish I could tell you that my little anecdote above is true, but it is sadly not. While autumn officially began at 10:59am on September 22 this year, I live in Charleston, SC, so the first “official” day of autumn for me consisted of a high around 88 and a heat index in the 90s. While I have grown to love Charleston, I do feel that it has a tendency to rob me of my favorite season, and I am not really a fan of this.
I’m not saying that I did not enjoy my first day of fall. My cousin and uncle were actually visiting that day, so I spent the day showing Sarah around Charleston, and Craig spent the day checking out the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier with my uncle. We met back up at home to watch the South Carolina Gamecocks game on t.v. and to relax. So, yes, the first day of fall was definitely an enjoyable day. It was just a hot, anti-fall-esque enjoyable day.
We thankfully had a “cool front” this past Monday and Tuesday, with the highs only reaching the low-to-mid 80s, and I was inspired to begin my first round of autumn baking. To kick off this season, I made an apple bread that has a streusel “topping” in the middle. I found this recipe from a blog called You Made That?, and it’s actually an adapted/slightly altered version of a Pampered Chef recipe. The smell was tantalizing as my bread baked in the oven, but the satisfying taste of warm streusel centered apple bread proved to be well worth the wait.
- 1 cup melted butter
- I used Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled
- 6 Tbsp flour
- 3 Tbsp butter
- Again, I used Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Core and chop up the apples, then set them aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredient to the wet ingredients and mix them together.
- Add the apple pieces to the batter, and stir it together.
- This is kind of thick batter, so make sure to take you spatula and really bring the batter from the bottom to the top, so you can make sure the apples get mixed in well and somewhat evenly.
- Make the streusel by combining all the streusel ingredients and stirring well.
- The streusel will be a medium or dark brown and starting to clump together. Make sure you don’t stop stirring it too early.
- Spray two bread pans (I used a 4 1/2 x 8 1/2in pan and a 5 x 9in pan) with nonstick cooking spray, and scoop out some of the bread batter into the pans. Crumble half of the streusel topping over each bread pan with your fingers. Scoop the rest of the batter into the two pans, trying to keep the portions somewhat even.
- Bake at 325 for 70-80 minutes or until a knife inserted into the bread comes out clean.