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Sunday, October 23, 2022

NATIONAL FOOD DAY - October 24th

 by Judy Ann Davis

When October inches into Central Pennsylvania, she brings with her frosty mornings and the brilliant hues of autumn. The golds, reds, and oranges of the maples, oaks, birches, and sumac cover our hillsides. 

October 24th has been annually proclaimed as National Food Day focusing on healthy and nutritious foods. For me, it's the month when my favorite foods appear--those warm and cozy dishes like soups, roasts, puddings, and favorite drinks like cider and hot chocolate. 

Growing up, I always looked forward to October meals on the farm. My parents were from immigrant Polish parents, and my mother was an exceptional cook and baker. She made traditional dishes such as stuffed cabbage rolls (golumpki), beet soup (borscht), and dumplings stuffed with cheese or  mashed potatoes (pierogies).

The other day I found some fall mushrooms popping up in our yard. It reminded me of my childhood days when my mom and dad would set off on a foggy morning into the woods to collect them. Mushroom hunting is an old Polish tradition handed down when the first Polish immigrants came to America and brought their knowledge with them. These gilled fungi are hunted in both the spring and fall. One of my favorite dishes to this day is steak served with fried mushrooms and onions.

Apple cake (szarlotka) and cheesecake (sernik) are the most frequently served sweets in Polish homes. For those who love sweets, here is a easy fall favorite of mine, passed down by my mother.


6 TBSP butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups sifted flour
6 cups diced apples
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Cream margarine, sugar, and eggs.
Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture.
Stir in diced apples, nuts, and vanilla. 
Pour in greased pan.
Bake: 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

 JUNE - The Pianist

Book 1 in the Musical Christmas Series 
Now on Sale for $0.99 


  1. The apple recipe landed just after I've made apple crisp, because why not add sugar to a sweet fruit? Ha. I'm intrigued by your music-based stories. I'm a former oboist and wondering if you did research and/or how this idea came to you. Best of luck with it!

    1. It wasn't difficult to write the stories since I played (notice the "-ed") violin and piano years ago. Actually, the stories are romantic mysteries, so I could incorporate a lot of other characters and scenes to drive the mystery and romance forward. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Oh, that recipe... I've never eaten actual Polish cooking, but it sounds wonderful!

    1. This is one of my favorites since I'm not a huge fan of apples, except for special recipes. In this one, the walnuts seems to help drive the flavor. I hope you're enjoying fall and all it's treats! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Your farm stories always warm my soul, since I too was raised on a farm. I am always intrigued by people who hunt mushrooms in the wild and eat them. I know its all about the education, my I just know I would eat the wrong ones and get sick. thank you for sharing your recipe! Happy Fall!


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