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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Leftover Bread Turned into a Spring Salad

The most recent batch of homemade bread had dwindled to one large bun and the chunky end of the last loaf, not enough of either to serve as a side for a salad lunch. Turning them into hefty croutons didn't make the resulting dish a "bread salad," but it did add body and savory flavor due to the garlic and added herbs.

I love the pairing of spinach and shredded cabbage, and that became the base for this mostly green salad. The rest of the list of ingredients is highly variable, based on what's in your refrigerator and your personal preferences.

The dressing has a nutrition boost, and the croutons (especially if made with a hearty whole grain bread) add to the overall balance, so this could be a good one dish main course justifying a hearty spring dessert like strawberry shortcakes or bright, and light, lemon meringues.

Healthy Spring Salad with Croutons

(NOTE--ALL salad ingredient amounts are approximate and are provided only as guides)

2 to 3 c spinach, coarsely torn
2 to 3 c shredded cabbage
2 to 3 T finely diced sweet onion
1/2 c diced green bell pepper
1/2 c diced, peeled, cucumber
2 to 3 T chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish if desired)
1 c shredded carrot (1 small to medium)

Protein Boosted Dressing
Shredded cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese (optional)

Toss all the salad ingredients with the dressing. Divide into 3 to 4 salad plates and top with croutons and cheese just before serving. Add a grind of black pepper if desired.

Protein Boosted Dressing

1 c plain yogurt
1/4 to 1/3 c light Italian dressing--or your favorite
seasoning salt and/or cayenne pepper to taste

Stir together and toss with salad.


2 T olive or canola oil
1/2 t garlic powder OR 2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 t dried herbs--I used a mixture of 2 parts basil, 1 part rosemary, 1 part thyme
1/2 to 1 t salt, to taste
approximately 2 c leftover bread, cut in large cubes

Stir the seasonings into the oil in a large skillet and heat on medium high for 3 to 4 minutes. When the oil is well heated and fragrant, stir in the bread and stir to coat evenly. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the bread is golden brown and quite crisp. Leftover croutons may be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Barbecue Sauce--A Better Alternative to the Bottled Stuff

With barbecue season upon us, here is a recipe for a generally healthy barbecue sauce that goes well with many different meats, whether grilled or prepared in the kitchen.

So many of the barbecue sauces on the market include high fructose corn syrup, and none include the dose of vitamin A and other nutrients contributed by squash here. This time of the year, the best source of the squash will be in the freezer section.

Feel free to alter this to meet your family's tastes, increasing or decreasing the mustard, perhaps even adding some liquid smoke if that is something you favor. Garlic, more or less onion, maybe some cayenne or other source of heat--lots of ways to make this your own. The recipe makes a generous amount that keeps well in the refrigerator, if you have any left after your next cook out.

Mustardy Barbecue Sauce
2 c diced onion (1 large)
1/3 to 1/2 c diced bell pepper
1/4 to 1/3 c water
8 oz butternut squash puree
1/4 to 1/3 c yellow mustard
1 T cider vinegar
2 T Worcestershire sauce
app 1 1/2 c ketchup
1/3 c brown sugar
1 T molasses
salt, black pepper to taste

1. Sauté the onions in a small amount of oil. After about five minutes, add the bell pepper and continue sauteing until the onions are translucent and slightly browned.

2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the desired consistency has been reached and the flavors have had an opportunity to blend.

3. After about ten minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Recipe can be doubled if desired.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pimento Cheese and Egg Salad Sandwich Fillings

Looking for some vegetarian sandwich fillings? Here is a Yankee version of Pimento Cheese Spread along with a classic Egg Salad, both without any mayonnaise. I rarely have either mayo or "Miracle Whip" style dressings around the house anymore, finding plain yogurt and a few other ingredients a much better substitute in most recipes.

Pimento Cheese Spread

1/2 c grated cheddar cheese, softened
1/2 c diced Velveeta or similar processed cheese, softened
2 to 3 T finely chopped sweet onion
2 to 3 T bottled red peppers, coarsely chopped (for today's batch, I used fire roasted red peppers from Aldi)
about 1/3 c plain yogurt

NOTE--to "soften" the cheeses, allow to come to room temperature or place in the microwave at the very lowest setting for only a few seconds. You don't want to melt or cook them, only to get them soft enough to cream easily. If you have the oven going and have a "hot spot" where it vents, that is an ideal spot to put the cheeses for a brief period.

1. Combine the cheeses and onion and blend until smooth, either with a wood spoon or with a mixer or processor.

2. Fold in the chopped peppers and enough yogurt to make the mixture somewhat thinner than ultimately desired. Chill for an hour or so.

3. If desired, add hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, or cayenne pepper for added bite.

Makes about a cup of spread.

Egg Salad Sandwich Filling

6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 to 1/3 c yogurt
1 to 2 t sugar
1 t prepared yellow mustard
seasoning salt to taste

1. Chop the eggs to preferred consistency. I use a pastry blender for the quickest mixing.
2. Stir in the sugar, mustard, and seasoning salt.
3. Gradually add the yogurt, stirring until the desired consistency is reached.
4. Chill for an hour or so to blend flavors.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quick Chocolate Fix

In the interest of trying to add a little fiber and moisture into a plain old cake mix, this recipe uses UNSWEETENED applesauce in place of the liquid and about half the fat. The topping goes together quickly and removes any need for frosting. Cupcakes seem to work best for this, as the topping can sometimes cause the center of an entire cake to sink a bit.

Chocolate Applesauce Cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix, 2 layer size--I prefer the "fudge" variants over devils food, but any chocolate variety will do
3 T oil
2 eggs
2 c unsweetened applesauce (or a 15 oz can or jar if not homemade)

2 T sugar
1 T butter, softened
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c miniature or regular semisweet chocolate chips

1. Combine the cake mix, eggs, oil and applesauce and beat for 3 minutes.

2. Spoon the batter into cupcake liners in a standard muffin pan.

3. Cream the sugar and butter and stir in the nuts and chocolate chips. Sprinkle evenly over the cupcake batter.

4. Bake at 350 degrees 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from pans to cool.

Makes 20 to 24.

Strawberry Birthday Pie

For me, a spring birthday is best celebrated with strawberry pie. This is a longtime family favorite, but the crust is a relatively recent innovation. It's a "pat in the pan" recipe, but I have added the touch of cornstarch to make it especially tender. With oil instead of butter (or lard!), it might even be considered at least slightly less unhealthy.

Glazed Strawberry Pie

1 1/4 c flour
2 T cornstarch
1 1/2 t sugar
1/3 c oil
3 T milk
dash salt

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Stir in the oil and milk and combine until just blended--finish the mixing with your fingers, making a bowl and keeping the "agitation" of the dough to a minimum.

3. Pat the dough into a 9 inch pie pan , bringing it up on the sides and crimping as usual. Use a fork to pierce the crust in several areas to keep the crust from bubbling up.

4. Bake at 400 degrees about 12 minutes, until golden and dry looking. The oil will not brown as much as crusts made with butter, so be careful not to burn.

Strawberry Filling

1/2 c apple, peeled and finely diced
3/4 c chopped strawberries
1 c water
3/4 c sugar
2 T cornstarch
2 T lemon juice (can use bottled juice like ReaLemon)

3 to 4 c sliced or coarsely chopped strawberries

1. Cook the apple, 3/4 cup of chopped strawberries, and water until the fruit is very soft. (I use the microwave, for about 5 to 6 minutes, but this can also be done on top of the stove.) Put in a processor or blender and blend until smooth. (You may also use just a fork to mash the fruit as much as possible.)

2. Stir the sugar and cornstarch together well and then gradually add to the hot fruit mixture. Return to the microwave and cook about 3 to 4 minutes on medium power, until the mixture bubbles and is translucent. Stir several times while it heats. When the glaze is well-cooked, remove from the microwave and stir in the lemon juice.

3. Meanwhile, put the remaining strawberries in the prepared shell. As soon as the glaze mixture is well cooked, pour it over the berries. Stir slightly to be sure that the glaze coats all the berries. Chill before serving.


Note in the photos that this is not the neon bright red color of the purchased glazes. If you want to duplicate that color, a few drops of red food color could be added to the glaze along with the lemon juice.

And why the apple in the glaze? Primarily, this is to stretch the fruity flavor in the glaze, so that I can preserve most of the strawberries for the "fresh" part of the filling. This allows making a pie with a pound of strawberries. If you wish to use only strawberries, cook about a cup and a half of strawberries with the water.

And what about appearances? Sometimes, there are lovely pictures of strawberry pies with the berries either whole or in large slices. While that may look a little prettier, cutting the berries in smaller pieces allows the glaze to more fully mix with the berries for a more even flavor, my own preference. If you want to go for the appearance, go for it! (You can also, instead, save a few really perfect looking strawberries and arrange them on top of the finished pie as a garnish.)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lentil Soup for Spring

The weather has warmed (at least warmer to us northerners!) but not too much for a comforting meal of soup and fresh baked bread, with fresh fruit for dessert for a light spring finish.

Mediterranean Lentil Soup--Vegetarian

canola oil (about a tablespoon)
1 large onion, chopped--1 to 1 1/2 c total
2 to 3 small carrots, diced--about 1 to 1 1/2 c total
1 c thinly sliced or diced celery--about 2 stalks (optional)
5 to 6 large garlic cloves, minced (at least a tablespoonful if you use bottled garlic)
1 pound brown lentils (green, black, or other colors can also be substituted)
8 c water--add more as needed to obtain desired consistency
3 to 4 vegetarian bouillon cubes
1 c diced potatoes
15 oz can tomatoes and chiles
8 to 15 oz tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, depending on how predominant you want the tomato flavor to be
1 t thyme
salt and pepper to taste
12 oz frozen chopped spinach (may use fresh if available)

1. Saute the onions and carrots (and celery if used) in the oil until the onions are golden. Combine with the lentils, garlic, water, and bouillon cubes.

2. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a very gentle boil. Continue to cook for about 30 to 40 minutes.

3. Stir in the potatoes and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

4. Stir in the tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes; taste and adjust for seasonings as needed.

5. Stir in the spinach and heat only long enough to return to almost boiling.

If desired, top with grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Serves four to six.

This is easily reheated and has excellent flavor the next day, though the spinach will not retain its bright green color well. The best way to maintain the brightest appearance if you are preparing this ahead is to proceed through the first four steps and then refrigerate the soup. When ready to serve, heat to a gentle boil and stir in the spinach.

NOTE: Though it will not be vegetarian, chicken broth can be substituted for the water and bouillon cubes.

NOTE 2: The use of the tomatoes and chiles gives this a bite that raises it from a relatively mundane soup. However, substitute plain diced tomatoes if your family prefers less heat. I'd still recommend at least a small sprinkle of cayenne and/or a bottle of hot sauce at the table for those who do want the added flavor.


This may seem like a lot of stop and start preparation, adding ingredients at various stages of the cooking. The soup could be made with everything added at once, but this approach means that the carrots, onions, and celery will be well cooked and blended into the liquid even as the potatoes retain their shape and color, and the tomato--already well cooked in the can--retains its separate character as well. The spinach of course is added to keep its color bright.

Actually, if you start cutting up all the vegetables at once, you will be able to just step over to the stove and stir in each additional ingredient with little real extra work. I'd encourage you to try this, some Saturday or long evening when you will be in the kitchen for other things anyway. If you don't see any real difference, then go ahead and put it all (except the spinach!) in the slow cooker and walk away. Either way, you'll have a home-cooked soup everyone is sure to love.

Rhubarb Again, for a Spring Day

The fragrance of the lilacs in the vase on top of the refrigerator, the cinnamon-y smells from the oven, the thrill of actually having a little asparagus from the garden big enough to harvest-spring is again giving us a sensory overload, even in the house.

Not enough asparagus yet for any real recipe, but I can cut it, still uncooked, into a wonderful fresh tossed salad. (I still prefer raw asparagus anyway!)

On the other hand, the rhubarb is sprawling across its patch in the lawn. Mine is not as red as some varieties, but it still works fine for spring desserts--for other people, since I'm still not a fan.

I am baking for a friend who can eat very little dairy and has to stay away from fructose, so honey and even some fruits have to be avoided. Plain old sugar works fine, however, as do berries and rhubarb, so a rhubarb crisp will be fine.

Today's recipe uses a method I hadn't tried before, preparing a cornstarch thickened sauce to spread over the fruit before baking, a little extra step that has given a juicy but not too runny filling.

Fructose-free Rhubarb Crisp

4 c diced rhubarb
1 to 2 c diced strawberries

3/4 to 1 c sugar, depending on the sweetness you desire
2 T cornstarch
1 c water
1 t vanilla

1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c flour
2 T oil plus 2 T butter OR 1/4 c margarine
1 1/2 t cinnamon
3/4 c rolled oats

1. Mix the fruits and spread in a 7 X 11 (OR 9 inch square) baking dish.

2. Stir the sugar and the cornstarch together in a small saucepan until evenly mixed. Stir in the water. Cook over medium to high heat until translucent and bubbly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

3. Pour the cornstarch mixture over the fruit, mixing well.

4. Stir all the topping ingredients except the rolled oats until evenly mixed. Blend in the oatmeal and spread the topping evenly over the fruit.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the crisp is bubbly and golden.

Cilantro, Veggies, and Beans--the Perfect Vegetarian Combo

If you are one of those people who find cilantro an herb to be avoided at all costs, you will probably want to move along. However, for the rest of us, this will be a refreshing spring vegetarian feast.

With lovely big bunches of cilantro on sale at a local chain, 3 for 99 cents, it was time to indulge. All colors of bell peppers were also on sale, and I had dried garbanzos already cooked and in the refrigerator, waiting for inspiration. The result was this colorful, quick, and inexpensive vegetarian main dish. As a nice plus, it also served as a vehicle for a few other leftovers--hence the small amounts of cabbage, frozen peas, and broth. Make your own variations with your own leftovers and enjoy.

Cilantro Chickpeas

1 to 2 t canola oil OR chicken fat (I had some at the top of the refrigerated broth so used that for a little more flavor)
1 c sliced carrots (2 small)
1/2 c chopped onion (1/2 medium)
3/4 c coarsely diced green bell pepper
3/4 c coarsely diced red bell pepper
1/2 c shredded cabbage
1/2 c frozen peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c chicken broth (convert this to a vegetarian/vegan dish with vegetable broth)
1 c chopped cilantro--leaves and stems
1/2 t Cajun seasoning (or red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste)
seasoning salt to taste
2 c garbanzo beans, with liquid

Optional toppings:
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
Plain yogurt or sour cream

1. Saute the carrots and onion in the fat for about 5 minutes, until the onions are just beginning to turn translucent.

2. Add the peppers, cabbage, and garlic, and simmer at medium heat another 5 to 10 minutes, until the peppers are just barely tender.

3. Stir in the cilantro, beans, and seasonings, and cook just until the mixture returns to a good boil. Stir in the frozen peas, remove from heat, and serve as is or with optional toppings as desired. Serves three to four.


As given in the recipe, this will be a little "soupy," perfect for serving in bowls like a thick stew. If you'd rather have it a little thicker, use less of the bean liquid or let the juices simmer down a little (not too long--this is best with the veggies just barely done). This could be served with rice, good crusty rolls, or warmed tortillas. Add a tossed salad and perhaps some fresh fruit of the season for a really fast, really healthy meal...and for a very reasonable cost as well.

Frugal note: The total cost of this dish, due to the sales this week and the use of home-cooked beans, was less than $1.50. If peppers are not on sale, you could substitute Trader Joe's frozen pepper strips (just add a few minutes after the cabbage) and still have a main dish well below $2.00. The cheese will add more to the cost, but using a dollop of yogurt (or just glasses of milk) to add the complementary amino acids will mean a lot of nutrition for not a lot of cost. (The broth was virtually free, since I just saved the juices from some chicken breasts that I had sauteed for another dish earlier in the week.)

Fast note: With the beans already cooked, the prep time for this includes washing the carrots and peppers and doing the chopping, not at all the big production that it may seem. (For more information on cooking dried beans, scroll down to my September 2010 post on this topic.)

Dump all the vegetables to be washed in some water, scrub well, and drain. (If you are tossing a salad and/or preparing some fresh fruit, wash it all at once--and no need to wash the onion; you'll just have a mess trying to get the peelings off!)

Then use one cutting board and one knife and just chop one thing after another. No need for washing the board or knife in between.* As for measuring, you can just guestimate and chop about the amount of each that looks like what you'd like. If you do want to measure, use the same cup, with no need to rinse between. At the end of the process, here is the stack of what you will have to clean up:

*Some notes on cutting boards

I keep one cutting board just for onions, peppers, and garlic, even some herbs and some of the fresh veggies from the garden--it's the one in this photo. According to my mother my great grandfather made this for my great grandmother early in their marriage back in the 19th century. Still going strong after all these years, it's a little hollowed out in the middle, but it's the perfect size and I use it almost every day. To care for it, I usually just swish some plain water over it and let it drain dry. If it needs a little more attention, I wipe it with a soapy cloth and quickly rinse, but that's about it. There is something very comforting to knowing that there is so much heritage in such a simple piece of kitchen equipment, and it holds a place of honor on my counter top.

And yes, I never, ever, let this board be used for meats or anything that might provide unwelcome contamination. For meats or anything that could lead to contamination problems, I use dishwasher safe boards.

This is also not the board for cutting up pineapple, melons, etc., either, not because of the cross-contamination problem. Rather, the old "onion board" is all too likely to impart just a hint of the strong flavors of the things it is used for, so I have another couple of boards of different sizes for these foods.

Do you need a whole set of cutting boards? Of course not. But I strongly recommend having at least two--one like my heritage board for cutting the strong flavored foods you'll be cutting and another that can be washed in the dishwasher or otherwise well-sanitized.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bananas, Bananas, Bananas

"Slightly Used Bananas"

The manager of the little IGA store in our community back in the 50s and 60s always marked down overripe bananas with the sign, "slightly used bananas." That silly term stuck in my childish mind and I still find myself using it for the brown speckled fruits like these in the picture.

As you can tell, I find these hard to resist! However, it is hard in 2011 to get this much fresh fruit of any kind for $1.07, the price of this particular pile of bananas. So what else will I do with them? Many will disappear as casual snacks for anyone walking by, along with slices on breakfast cereal. Then there are so many other possibilities--smoothies, topping for cereal at breakfast, baking...but probably not any banana bread. I'm not a big fan of those kinds of breads and don't have any reason to bake them for taking anywhere. No banana bread but here are some other ideas for your next mass purchase of bananas:

Step One:

I made a couple of banana cakes, a lighter version of banana bread and a simple but satisfying dessert from the "archives" of Laack family recipes.

A few changes: I substituted plain yogurt for "sour milk" in the original recipe* and reduced the sugar slightly. In addition, Great Grandma Laack made this with a milk chocolate-y frosting, but I long ago changed the preferred topping to a brown sugar caramel icing that really enhances the banana flavor.

*If you want to go with "sour milk," just put a teaspoon of vinegar in the measuring cup and add milk to the quarter cup line and let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes before adding.

Great Grandma Laack's Banana Cake

3/4 c butter, softened
1 1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 c mashed bananas
1/4 c plain yogurt
1 3/4 c flour
1 t soda

1. Cream the butter well; add the sugar and continue beating until mixture is very creamy.

2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. When smooth and creamy, mix in the bananas and sour milk or yogurt. Continue to mix until evenly blended.

3. Sift together the flour and soda and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Continue mixing for about 1 minute with an electric mixer or until the batter is smooth and very evenly mixed.

4. Turn the batter into a well-oiled and floured 9 X 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and frost. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired. (If using a 10 inch disposable pan, as in the photo below, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and expect to add 5 minutes or so to the baking time.

Caramel Frosting 

  • 1 1/2 T butter
  • 3 T milk
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, and mix in the milk and brown sugar. Boil vigorously for 1 minute.
  2. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Beat in the vanilla and then gradually add the powdered sugar, beating after each addition. If necessary, add a few drops of milk or water for best spreading consistency. (This spreads most easily when it is still warm)
  3. VARIATION: Substitute strong coffee for half the milk.

Some general banana baking hints:

A cup of mashed bananas is about three medium or two large bananas. If your bananas don't quite make it to one cup, add a little milk (or yogurt if part of the recipe) to bring it up to one cup. If you have just a little more than a cup--say up to even a couple of tablespoons--you can probably proceed with the recipe with no adjustments, or you could add perhaps a tablespoon of extra flour. (FRUGAL alert here--DON'T throw out any extra banana puree if your bananas don't exactly come out to an even cup measure! If you don't want to just have this little bit of healthy snack, pop it into an ice cube tray or a small plastic bag and use it as an "ice cube" for a smoothie.)

Almost all banana breads, cakes and cookies have been developed using very ripe bananas--after all, when do we usually think of these recipes? When the bananas are sitting on the counter turning mushy and brown! If your bananas are on the green side, however, you can use them but will need to be very sure to mash them thoroughly so that they mix in well.

As for mashing--I find it easiest to just use a measuring cup that is larger than the amount called for. I put chunks of the banana into the cup and then use an ordinary table fork to mash the banana down to a smooth mass. No extra dishes and you can quickly tell if you have enough banana for your recipe. And, unless the bananas are still very firm, a fork is just right for the job.

Step 2--The Freezer

Call it banana triage. Those in the best condition will be peeled, cut in half if too large, and then turned into banana-sicles. I just insert a wood craft stick (okay, popsicle stick, but that is a brand name I'm supposed to avoid!) into each and freeze them on a cookie sheet. When solidly frozen, they too will be put into a heavy freezer bag and stored for snacks. If you want to up the ante, you could roll them in chocolate milk powder (like Nestles Quick) or even coat them with a little peanut butter before freezing (or do both? I haven't ever tried that but it sounds like it could work.)

Some of the bananas may have spots but have firmer chunks between the spots. These can be cut into approximately one inch chunks and frozen on a cookie sheet. When these are solidly frozen, put into a freezer bag and have them ready to use in smoothies. Just pop a few chunks into the blender as you would ice cubes.

And finally, the softest bananas and/or those with the most spots get mashed to a puree, and are frozen in one cup portions in individual plastic bags--you can use just the lightest sandwich bags for each of these and just put them all in a larger freezer bag. Most banana breads, cakes, etc., use a cup of bananas at a time, so these pre-measured packs are great convenience foods. Just thaw in the refrigerator--or, if you are like me and think of the bananas at the last minute, thawed on the defrost setting in the microwave.

Friday, May 6, 2011

First Rhubarb, Stretched

Rhubarb and lilac and tree buds and all those other harbingers of spring are late here in Minnesota this year, so my three plants still had only a few still short stalks ready when I wanted to pick some for a coffee dessert today. No strawberries in the house to fall back on the many strawberry-rhubarb recipes either, but I did have a half package of strawberry gelatin left from earlier baking, so here is the result.

Rhubarb and Apple Crisp

1 1/2 c sliced rhubarb
2 to 2 1/2 c thinly sliced apples--I used HoneyGold
1/2 package strawberry gelatin (about 1/4 cup)
2/3 c sugar
1 t cinnamon

3T butter
1/3 c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 c flour
1 c old fashioned oatmeal

1. Toss all filling ingredients together until well mixed. Turn into a greased 8 or 9 inch pie pan.

2. Cut the butter into the sugar and cinnamon until well blended. Stir in the flour and oatmeal until all is well mixed. Spread over the filling, being sure to cover all the fruit.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the mixture is bubbly. (Insert a knife in the center to test for the tenderness of the fruit.) If the topping browns too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes or so.

Serve warm or cold. Serves 5 to 6.