Remember when Sunday nights meant that extra hour of weekend tv – or maybe it was already budgeted from your daily two-hour allotment – so that you could watch The Wonderful World of Disney? This afternoon, I was taken back to that place with a showing of “The Apple Dumpling Gang” on TMC. It’s amazing how many faces I recognized in the movie for their later (or earlier) work. Sadly, some of these folks are no longer with us. Maybe the movie was a bit sappy even for its own time, but this junior Western had some notable players. Don Knotts and Tim Conway (of “The Carol Burnett Show” and other fame), Harry Morgan (Col. Potter of M*A*S*H), John McGiver (the Tiffany’s shop clerk in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”), and not forgetting Bill Bixby, later known as Dr. David Banner – yes that was a gratuitous reference to you-know-who for the new daddy in our family. Wouldn’t that scene on the water where he was wrestling with the bad guy been much more effective if he’d said, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” Or maybe that’s just funny to me.
It was a simpler era in the mid-seventies, at least for a child, and I’d never actually heard of or eaten an apple dumpling when I first saw that movie. Since then I have, but with apple season taking off in New York, it brings to mind another dish which has become one of my recipe file staples. Unfortunately, I’m not able to find this one in print or on-line. It’s from BBC Good Food and is from about ten or so years ago, once again proving that, like the movie, a semi-oldie can still be a goody.