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Hunger Coalition Classes Tackle Pandowdy and Tomato Powder
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Friday, January 14, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

The flour on Jocelyn Guzman’s fingernails matched her white fingernail polish as she helped mix together flour, sugar, kosher salt and baking powder for an Apple Cranberry Pandowdy.

Others piled around the table in The Hunger Coalition’s new Community Kitchen peeling apples, washing cranberries and mixing together brown sugar and lemon juice as they prepared the filing.

“I have never heard of pandowdy so I thought I would try it,” confessed Mishel Cuados.

The small group was among the first to avail themselves of new weekly cooking classes offered by The Hunger Coalition. The classes are offered every Tuesday evening to a limited number of people, given COVID precautions.

The idea: To bring people together for socializing, while learning some new skills and recipes, said Lynea Petty, manager of Food Production at The Hunger Coalition.

The Hunger Coalition started the classes late last fall. So far, participants have learned to make lentil soup, apple butter, grain salad and jams. They’ve also learned to can and dry tomatoes and even make tomato powder flavoring.

“When Joyce Fabre taught the lentil soup, we learned about the health benefits of Blue Zone diets—how to use fresh ingredients with no preservatives,” said Guzman.

Guzman, a 16-year-old junior at Wood River High School, has been an intern with the Hunger Coalition’s Bloom team for two years, helping to plant and reap the harvest of Bloom Farm in Quigley Canyon. Now she’s on a new leadership track in which the interns take on additional responsibilities, helping in the Hunger Coalition warehouse and elsewhere.

Guzman helps oversee the cooking classes, copying recipes and making phone calls.

“I like working in the community and meeting new people. And people enjoy coming,” she said.

Amanda Moulton, who volunteered to teach the Apple Cranberry Pandowdy recipe, has worked in nutrition education, teaching nutrition in the Peace Corps in the West African country of Burkina Faso. She also worked on the education team of Second Harvest, which combats child hunger.

She took time off after her son was born a little over a year ago and served as The Hunger Coalition’s first volunteer teacher, showing participants how to make a green salad of fall odds and ends.

She picked the Apple Cranberry Pandowdy, she said, because it is a good seasonal fall recipe that’s especially fun around the holidays when cranberries are in vogue.

“It’s a fun and less fussy version of a pie,” she said. “It only has a top crust and you get to smash it into the pie halfway through baking!”

While the pandowdy was baking, she showed the class how to make an apple vinegar by putting apple peels, cores, seeds and flesh into a wide-mouth glass jar, then adding four tablespoons of sugar, three tablespoons apple cider vinegar and four cups of water. She then covered it with a coffee filter and told them to let it sit at room temperature out of direct sunlight for seven days.

Then, she said, strain the apple bits and let the liquid rest at room temperature for two more weeks.

You can make it with any fruit and can keep making more, like sourdough, she added. Use it for cooking or in salad dressing.

“You can also take a tablespoon in water for digestion—it builds the microbiome in your gut,” she said.

Each of the participants made a little jar of apple vinegar to take home with them while the pandowdy baked.

The, true to her words, Moulton took the pandowdy out of the oven, took a knife to the crust, then mashed the crust into the filling with a spoon before returning the pandowdy to the oven for a few minutes more.

“This is good,” said Eena Cuados as everyone dug in. “And the class was so much fun. I like baking and cooking. I love learning new recipes.”

APPLE CRANBERRY PANDOWDY

For the crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/ teaspoon baking powder

6 tablespoons coconut oil, softened

4-5 tablespoons ice water

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Use a small spoon to drop blobs of softened but not melted coconut oil into the mixture. Use a fork to mix until the oil is distributed through the dry mixture.

Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together in a ball. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

For the filling:

2-3 pounds of apples, or other fruit

1 cup cranberries, thawed if necessary

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt.

Peel and core the apples and cut them into half-inch dices. Combine all the filling ingredients in an 8-by-8-inch square pan or a 9-inch pie pan.

Dust your counter with flour and roll out the crust so that it is big enough to cover the top of your baking dish. Transfer the crust to the top of the baking dish and trim off overhang. Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.

Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Use a sharp knife to slice the crust into diamonds an inch wide, then use the back of a spoon to mash the crust into the filling. Return the pie to the oven for another 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden and the fruit is bubbling through the crust. Let cool 20 minutes and serve.

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