Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Snow White and the 7 Dwarves

Good Morning, Disney Daters!

Ah, the sun is shining- just for the moment, sadly- and the house is heating up (thank goodness, I'm in my slippers and a sweater AND a blanket, temperature isn't messing around with me lately!) and we have the loveliest Disney Date to share with you. What a lovely day :)

Inspiration: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Disney Date: Run Away into the Woods; Find a Local Apple Vendor
Alternate Ideas: Go Goldpanning, Make a Magic Mirror, Have Woodland Creatures Clean Your House
Food: Apple Dumplings
Check out this fabulous original movie poster!
Snow White is incredibly important to the Disney lore. It was Disney's first full length animated film, released in 1937, and is still considered one of, if not the, most important American animated film ever made. On a more personal level, Snow White is the first Disney Princess movie for a lot of us, and that's a piece of my childhood that I hold dear, indulging in sentimentality beyond all rationality. As evidenced by our little blog project, here!

So, with some trepidation due to the impressive legacy of this particular princess, we tackled Snow White just as the first snow fell on Ottawa. (It hasn't stuck, thank goodness- the leaves aren't even gone yet! Not cool, Winter!)

We had a lot of ideas for Snow, especially because there's a wealth of updated Snow White's to turn to-- Snow White and the Huntsman, Snow White/ Mary Margaret in Once Upon A Time, and Mirror, Mirror; all of which were adaptations released in the past year. Clearly her 75th anniversary is kind of a big deal! I have to admit, as much as I love the original, it makes me deeply happy to see Snow put down the broom and pick up a sword of her own. This is one Princess who has had enough rescues in her 75 years, I'd say, and is ready to kick ass all on her own-- and thank goodness. Playing Princess is fun, but a Princess with the will and the power to change her own destiny is 10x the Princess power, and its important to let little girls see that.

So we had a lot of potential dates (Make a magic mirror? Go gold panning (aka, mining)? Ride off into a glowy castle? Serenade each other?), making it easy to have both a plan A and plan B. This was handy, too, because plan A didn't work out. Plan A entailed whistling while I worked, singing a happy song and opening my door to let all the joyous local woodland creatures frolic on in and clean house with me. Sadly, while I've been well indoctrinated with the 'Sing and they will come' Disney logic, apparently my local creatures haven't watched enough Disney movies to know their cue when they hear it. That, my friends, is clearly a loss.

Anyways, after the lack of participation in Plan A we switched it up to Plan B. The adventure starts in Snow White when she's taken out into the forest and goes from picking happy flowers to running for her life. While we weren't quite running for our lives, we decided to take the forest adventure as inspiration and use it as the theme for our date.

Our new house (By the way: we bought a house on Aladdin Lane. Unintentional, but really, could we have planned that better?!) is backed by the Greenbelt, a huge section of farm and woodland that Ontario intentionally keeps quite rural. There's a road headed strait back from our turnoff, and ever since we've moved in I have been dying to head down it and discover what's back there. Snow was my opportunity. Pretending we were being chased by a emotionally torn up woodsman, we headed down the road and into adventure!
For one thing, it's beautiful out there- especially this time of year. It was a cloudy, melancholy day, but considering the mood of the woods Snow runs away into, I found the mood entirely appropriate. The colourful leaves and still green grass (that won't last much longer, here) looked lush against the grey backdrop of the sky, and it was easy to make believe.

"Oh look! A little cottage in the woods!" Snow proclaims, when she finds the dwarfs home. (Side note: Disney calls them dwarfs, but I couldn't bear. Hence the title dwarves.) Though Max and I didn't knock on any doors (or sneak in, clean house and take a nap either) this was the 'cottage' that we found in the woods :)

And, in a coincidence that could not be more fortuitous, across the road from our little cottage was an apple market. In particular Hall's Apple Market, which I can tell you with authority has delicious apples this time of year and makes a MEAN apple cider.

There's honestly no fruit better than a crisp apple in the fall. And the spices, oh, the spices! Call them pumpkin spice or apple spices, they are deeeeeelicious spices!

If there's any lesson to be learned here, from Snow White, it is this: Trust your apple vendor.
After procuring some delectable apples, we headed deeper into the forest. I'm not going to lie, our Disney Date essentially consisted of going for a long (and kind of cold) walk together. But you know what? It was perfect. Even though it's one of the simplest things we can do, we often don't find the time to walk (or bike) together, in spite of the fact that transportation by two feet and heartbeat is something I genuinely enjoy very much. To be outside, especially when there's a nip in the air, is so life affriming and refreshing. In short, it was glorious. And I'm happy with the results we got from playing outside in the woods.

The day helped us along, but we did deliberately go for a moderately melancholy and creepy vibe. After all, when Snow runs away, the whole forest spends a good 5-7 screams worth of time trying to eat her. 

 Snow, in her hysteria, had some seriously creepy trees to deal with. I remember disliking that part rather strongly as a child- especially the alligator logs (probably didn't help when I encountered an alligator later and was pretty much paralyzed. Not impressed with invisible things with large, hungry mouths full of people eating teeth. I know, how quirky right?) Anyway, after spending some time in the woods at dusk, I think we can say that it probably doesn't take much imagination to think the trees are watching you if you're tearing through the forest in a fright. I know these trees were eyeing us up!

At least, I'm pretty sure. We didn't stop to ask. But they qualified on my 'real life creepy'.
  Snows trees are a tad more animated, however. All the better to snatch you up, my dear!

After we were finished playing in the woods, it was time to take the apples home and make some magic. When Snow is discovered by the dwarves, and strikes a deal to cook and clean in exchange for staying, it's her affirmative answer to Doc's question that scores her permission to stay. That question is "Can you make.. apple dumplings?!" So apple dumplings, naturally, is what we had to try. Between that reference and the infamous poisoned apple, apples were clearly the fruit of the day!
I'd never made (or even had) apple dumplings before. But we rustled up a recipe, and went at it armed with delicious fresh apples. The process was a little messy (We don't have much in the way of counter space; no pastry roller or pastry cutter...) but the result was scrumptious. Warm, gooey on the bottom and flaky pastry on the top, smelling of cinnamon and all manner of heavenly delights, these apple dumplings were definitely a win.
We used a potatoe masher as a pastry cutter and a wine bottle (I always have one of THOSE handy!) as a roller. We made seven dumplings (one per dwarf!). Most of them are already gone... whoops!!!
·         2 cups water (personally I think you could do with a bit less. We had quite a lot of liquid.)
·         1 ¼ cups sugar
·         ½ tsp. cinnamon
·         ¼ cup butter or margarine
·         2 cups all purpose flour
·         ½ tsp. salt
·         2/3 of a cup shortening
·         1/3 to ½ cup half & half cream or whole milk
·         2 tbsp chopped raisins (we used golden)
·         1 tbsp honey
·         2 tbsp sugar
·         ½ tsp cinnamon
·         1 tbsp butter per apple
·         7 small cooking apples!

1. For sauce, in a medium saucepan combine the water, the 1-1/4 cups sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the 1/4 cup butter or margarine. Set aside.
2.  Meanwhile, for pastry, combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the half-and-half, light cream, or milk over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon of the cream or milk at a time, until all of the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to an 18x12-inch rectangle.* Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut into six 6-inch squares.
3.  In a small mixing bowl combine the raisins, walnuts, and honey. In another small bowl stir together the 2 tablespoons sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
4. Peel and core the apples. Place an apple on each pastry square. Fill centers of apples with raisin mixture. Sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mixture; dot with the 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Moisten edges of each pastry square with water; fold corners to center over apple. Pinch to seal. Place dumplings in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Pour sauce over dumplings. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 35 minutes or until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown. To serve, spoon sauce over dumplings. Sit back and seriously enjoy!
Nutrition information
Per serving: Calories 722, Total Fat 36 g, Saturated Fat 9 g, Cholesterol 5 mg, Sodium 299 mg, Carbohydrate 99 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 5 g.
This is what we ended up with:
Some serious yum, yum, yum.
Who could resist? I may or may not be eating these for breakfast. Oh, and all the other meals, too.
We were definitely rewarded. If Snow makes better dumplings than these, she's welcome to come live with me, too!! Please do!
One last photo from our adventure to send you on your way. This leaf was stuck to my coat when we headed home :) I guess it wanted some dumpling, too. Well sir, I can't blame you.

Happy Fall, Disney Daters! May all your apples be sweet and not poisonous! (I know, soooo thoughtful!)

1 comment:

Max said...

The apple dumplings were awesome!