Who says you can’t eat local in Maine all year round? I was worried about getting enough fruit in the winter, but so far I am doing quite well. This is because a) freezers b) apples store ridiculously well (side note: I kept apples in my fridge in college for months and months after going apple picking, and used them up very gradually (not having time to bake), but they were still good, albeit a little wrinkly, after having survived the winter and numerous attempts by my dear roommates to throw them away. Wrinkly ones do requires some peeling and attention, but otherwise they remain delicious) and c) local fruit just keeps coming! Cranberries and pears are the latest crops, both of which keep well as well, and pears have to ripen for a long time anyway.
Breakfasts are where I eat most of my fruit, along with yogurt (remind me to write down my yogurt tasting notes sometime. I eat yogurt almost every day and have tried a fair number of them, never get sick of it. Definitely get the whole milk creamy-top version) and sometimes oatmeal, toast, granola, or some other baked good. In the summer I had fresh fruit, melons or berries, and now I usually have either some form of applesauce or I thaw some berries (usually blueberries, but if I want a smoothie I use a mix of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries). Nom.
Anyway the first time I saw cranberries at the co-op I knew I had to get them (and local cranberries, by the way and in case you hadn’t figured this out yet, are much more beautiful and delicious than the packaged grocery-store variety). I intended to make cranberry sauce but have not enjoyed adding a bunch of sugar to dishes lately, and most cranberry sauce recipes contain buckets of sugar. So instead of following a recipe, I threw a bunch of cranberries and apples together in a pot, added a little water (or cider, I don’t remember), and listened to them pop. Ended up with a delicious tart-and-sweet bright pink sauce that gets more vibrant as it sits. Vary the ratio of apples to cranberries per the occasion (Thanksgiving may be a more cranberry-heavy scene), and vary the cooking time depending on how soft and blended you like your apples.
Cranberry-Apple sauce 1/2 cup cranberries 4 apples, whatever variety you like to cook with, sweeter if you want a sweeter sauce A few tablespoons of cider, tea, or water Spices, if you want (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, etc)
Core and slice the apples, peeling only if you want a smooth sauce (I can’t be bothered most of the time, and I like having skins add to the texture anyway). Throw them with the cranberries, spices, and liquid into a pot (larger ones work a little better, but you can do a small one and just start with a smaller amount, adding more apples as you go. This will also create a varied texture, if you like that). Cover and cook on low heat for a good 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all the elements are getting cooked.
Eat at least a few spoonfuls right away (for taste-testing purposes if nothing else), and put the rest in the fridge for breakfasts. As I said, the color will intensify as it sits.
Also happens to be a good thing to have around when you discover a meal that needs just a little extra vibrant tartness. Such as rutabagas and fried beans.