This Saturday my husband and I went to check out Applefest in Greene, NY. Sponsored by the United Methodist Church, this even is held every fall and features apple and rhubarb pies, apple sauce, apple butter, apple barbecue sauce, apple salsa, fresh apples sold by the pound, and sharp white cheddar cheese made specially for the festival and by hard-working volunteers. There’s also dozens of crafters with all kinds of great products like rustic home decor, hand-knitted dog sweaters, handmade jewelry, and food products.

What better way to make apple butter than in a gigantic cauldron?

How cute are those candy corns?

Cozy up your home with crows, country stars and pot pourri.

Rustic signs, even for NY Giants fans.

This vendor certainly had a love for owls. Her bags and children’s clothing were colorful, fun, and made with cozy knitted sweater pieces.

T-shirts with colorful sleeves made of knitted sweaters.

Most of her shirts were in children’s sizes…but not this one!

I lucked out, this was the only owl shirt left in my size!

I took this photo because of the “Hawaiian Shave Ice,” but only now I saw the sign for “Deep Fried Candy Bars”—dang!

This cute little guy was waiting in line with his dad to get some apple salsa…or apple butter, or apple salad dressing, or applesauce…

Despite the tempting smells of apple dumplings, pulled pork sandwiches and elephant ears that surrounded me with every step, I already knew what I wanted to come home with: barbecue sauce!

An all around good, sweet barbecue sauce!

I haven’t sampled enough barbecue sauces to make a good comparison from one product to the next, but I really do enjoy this Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce made especially for sale at the Applefest. It’s sweet and very slightly tangy. No big smoky flavor, no hot spice, just a good, all-around barbecue sauce. Dinner on Saturday and Sunday was a barbecue chicken pizza using this sauce:

Saturday: we could hardly wait to eat this pizza, had to keep on peeking in the oven!

Sunday dinner: chicken barbecue pizza with spinach, eggplant, mushrooms, onion, and grapes.

A little heavy handed with the cheese, but the apple barbecue sauce was perfect.

I like to prebake my crust to get it nice and crisp then add the toppings in this order:

1. sauce
2. half the cheese (1 part parmesan/asiago to 1 1/2  parts mozzerella)
3. flat stuff: spinach, eggplant, pepperoni, onions
4. lumpy stuff: mushrooms, barbecue chicken, ground meat (note: meats are pre-cooked)
5. rest of the cheese (to hold everything together)
6. decorative stuff (grapes, figs, cherry tomato halves)

It’s not something I follow to the letter, but it does help to know flat stuff comes first then lumpy stuff next. :)

Are there any fall festivities going on in your neighborhood? Did you celebrate Moon Festival? Oktoberfest is just around the corner, too!

Rich, slightly smoky, tangy barbecue sauce. Great on beans, too!

The other night I really wanted some barbecue ribs. Back home, my Uncle Paul would make these huge, Flintstone-style ribs on the grill with a few simple seasonings and it always came out perfect. It was tasty stuff and, as a kid, gnawing on those huge bones was a lot of fun!

Since there was no chance I would be eating any of my uncle’s barbecue ribs anytime soon, I still had a craving, and more specifically, for that one thing he rarely put on his own ribs: barbecue sauce! I tried a recipe for “St. Louis Style Barbecue Sauce,” but it was way too sweet for my taste and was missing that umami flavor. So I improvised and made up my own recipe (below.)

While the sauce was simmering,  I made a quick batch of wheat-free corn bread muffins (Blood Type Diet A recipe from Cook Right 4 Your Type.) The scant 1/4 cup of buckwheat flour make it taste less like a traditional corn muffin so next time no buckwheat. Two chicken breasts were cut in half lengthwise, seasoned with a bit of salt and red pepper flakes, then pan-fried in unsalted butter. I still had some cooked beans from when I made turkey bean burgers the other night so served that on the side topped with barbecue sauce. Everything tasted much better than I thought, and I was surprised at how fast I ate everything on my plate! Maybe I was craving ribs, but the chicken and barbecue sauce were more than satisfying for tonight’s dinner.

And who knows, maybe my uncle might like it. :)


Jenny’s Tangy Barbecue Sauce
makes about 1 1/2 cups 

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup red wine (I just used a table wine, but something dry would be good)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons tamari
1/2 onion, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried onion)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried garlic)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Put everything in a pot, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. Turn off heat and taste. If too sweet, stir in 1 tablespoon mustard. If too vinegary, add 1 teaspoon more sugar. Use as a baste or topping.