Let me take a blog post to pay tribute to my late grandmother, Daisy Nared and her awesome Fried Apples!
I am going to close my eyes, and go back to my grandmother’s kitchen and attempt to become a human time machine and you are my passenger and tell you why I love Fried Apples.
I am in my grandmother’s kitchen and I am remembering the oval wooden dining table that faces you as soon as you walk inside the door; the lemon yellow and blue tile with some funky flower design on the floor, and the one kitchen counter top that my grandma had to prepare her meals that had a window which faced the front yard that had a huge apple tree where she picked apples every season. My grandmother, was the grandmother of all grandmothers. She baked pies, she picked fruit, she sewed patches in our jeans, she made quilts, she made Fried Apples, and made blankets with her crochet needles and large balls of yarn. I can still smell her at times. My grandmother smelled of cheap $1 body spray, Giorgio to be exact, peppermints, fabric softener sheets, with a hint of cigarette smoke. This may sound horrible to you but it was the smell of warmth and love to me. I spent the night over my grandmother’s house very chance I got. I love spending the night over her house. In fact, when my grandfather would work late, I insisted on being with my grandmother. I hated the idea of her being alone. When my mom would tell me I couldn’t I would just stay on the phone with her until I had to get off the phone.
My grandmother was a cross of Mother Theresa, Clair Huxtable, and Super Woman in my eyes. She never did anything wrong, she never raised her voice, and her smile gave you all the comfort you needed. She was only in my life for a short 13 years but I miss her like I just lost her yesterday. That is how impactful she was to me. Everything she did was to perfection. Even the food she made was amazing. I remember my grandmother making basic dishes but it was always something extra or different. I don’t think there was anything she made that was gross. Wait! There was this one time she tried to get me to eat a Bologna Sandwich! Gross! Aside from that, everything was delicious. I remember distinctly her Fried Apples. It was so simple and so basic, but made me very excited when she would make them. To make this more special, she would make them in the very cast iron skillet that is in this picture. Man I miss that woman!
Fried Apples, for us, was a side dish. If she made Fried Chicken we had apples; if she made Fried Pork Chops, we had apples; and even if she made Spaghetti and Meatballs we had apples. Fried Apples was one of her signature dishes. Now, I am sharing it with you! I am making these for Thanksgiving but you can totally make them for whatever occasion you want. You can even make these as a dessert. Just add some ice cream! This dish is very easy. To kick it up a notch, I added some Brandy and walnuts for extra flavor. If you have cinnamon sticks you can use them for the apples. If not, just sprinkle a little cinnamon on your apples. I hope you can feel the love Daisy through this recipe. Tell me about a dish your grandparents made that you love! I would love to read your story!
- 4 Large Honey Crisp Apples (or Granny Smith), sliced and peeled
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. Brandy
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ c. walnut pieces
- On medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the apples and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. The apples will release its liquid. Continue to cook until the liquid starts to evaporate. Sprinkle with both sugars, cinnamon, Brandy, walnuts, and add vanilla extract. Cook for an additional 5 minutes so the apples can caramelize. Turn on low and serve.