Northern & Central Midwest
Favorite or New Plant
This daisy-like native of the prairie is a close relative of asters, and comes into its glory in the early to middle autumn. The plant is four to five feet tall, and covered with a cloud of hundreds of snowy white flowers. It is beautiful at the back of the border and the silvery green, delicate foliage makes it a striking foil for shorter bright-colored asters. It grows easily in dry soils and will make a larger and larger clump every year without becoming invasive. The cultivar 'Snowbank' is probably the most commonly available.
The Ultimate Baked Apple
There's nothing better than a warm baked apple on a crisp fall day!
4 apples, tart is best (Jonagold is my favorite)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (don't be tempted to use margarine)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, hickory or hazelnuts
1 cup apple cider or 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Core apples and pare to give each a flat bottom. Mix brown sugar, softened butter and cinnamon until well mixed. Stir in pecans. Stuff center of each apple with mixture. Place in baking dish or individual ramekins. Divide cider or syrup evenly among the four and pour over the tops. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, basting occasionally. Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or all by their delicious selves.
For the campfire: Wrap each apple tightly in aluminum foil and place, top down, directly on hot coals. After 5-10 minutes, using long tongs, turn apples right side up and continue to bake for 10 minutes longer.