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Birthday Dinner, Part II and Apple Crisp

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Sometimes you have to come back down to earth.

The transition from the rich extravagance of cheesecake to the humble wholesomeness of apple crisp may seem a challenge. It’s not easy coming back to the real world after such pampering.

But think again. The apples and the oatmeal are good for you in ways too numerous to count. The blend of tartness and sweetness is just perfect. And the smell of the baking apples mixed with just a touch of cinnamon will remind you of grandma’s kitchen and all the love and security and warmth you received there. And just like that, you will have forgotten all that extravagance and high life. What cheesecake?

Zach and Becca undergo a similar tricky transition in Part II of Birthday Dinner. In an instant, they’re lifted from their lavish feast to the far leaner fare of jobs and daily life–and an unexpected mission for Becca that quickly involves Zach as well. Yet, within these new rigors, they find a different kind of feast, with new possibilities of sustenance and reward–if they’re strong enough to meet the fresh challenges placed before them.

apple crisp

Apple Crisp

1 large apple, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces*

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons oats (regular or quick cooking)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

*I used a Pink Lady apple. These are by far my favorite variety because they are firm and crisp with both sweet and tart flavors. Feel free to use your favorite kind, but I highly recommend Pink Lady apples or any other firm apple.


{Pretty Pink Lady apples!}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a ramekin or bowl with cooking spray.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and stir until ingredients are combined.


Place the apple pieces in the prepared ramekin; top with crumb mixture.

Place the ramekin on a cookie sheet and put in the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the crumb mixture is crunchy and golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before eating.

bite of apple crisp

{First scrumptious bite}

And here’s the second installment of the novel:

Birthday Dinner cover

Birthday Dinner, Part II, audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Birthday Dinner, Part II, text © Jeffrey Anderson


About Elaine

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