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Applesauce can be a versatile ingredient

Recipe: Old-fashioned applesauce pancakes

Applesauce makes a healthy substitute for milk in these pancakes. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

The pancakes smell great on the griddle.

Apples are keepers. Harvested in fall, they continue to stay firm (and ripe) while in cold storage for months.

With a large Granny Smith apple tree, I still have "fresh" home-grown apples in the fridge -- plus a lot of applesauce. As the fruit starts to soften, I cook it into sauce, giving me more options of how to use up my apples. (And I can freeze the sauce.)

Of course, applesauce is great as a side dish on its own, but it's also a versatile ingredient in baked goods. (I use it as a substitute for milk or sour cream in muffins and quick breads.)

And it makes delicious pancakes. They smell like apples on the griddle.

Applesauce pancakes
Makes about 8 (5-inch) pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce
1 egg or 1 egg substitute
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Butter or margarine for griddle (about 1 tablespoon)

Preheat griddle. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

In another bowl or large mixing cup, mix together applesauce and egg or egg substitute until blended.
Gradually add applesauce mixture to dry ingredients. Mix in oil. Batter should be spoonable, not stiff. If needed, add 1/4 cup more applesauce.

One cup of applesauce is need for the pancakes.
Butter hot griddle. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto griddle. Cook until little bubbles start to appear in the surface (about 3-4 minutes). Turn pancakes and cook until done.

Serve warm with butter, margarine, syrup or powdered sugar.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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