Morris Shanstrom has loved cooking since he was a boy. During the Depression, his family took in a woman who cooked and cleaned for them, and she taught Morris to bake bread and cinnamon rolls. To this day, he bakes for his family every week. He and his wife taught cooking in 4-H, and they and their two children have given cooking demonstrations on television. His daughter surprised him by entering him in his first cooking contest, a Jimmy Dean sausage cook-off, and he won. Morris thinks of cooking as an activity the whole family can do together.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brown the sausage in a large skillet. Wash the apples and cut a slice from the tops. Scoop out the flesh, leaving shells ½ inch thick. Cut the flesh from the cores and chop it. Add the chopped apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind, and figs to the sausage and mix well. Fill the apple shells with the mixture. Sprinkle the tops with brown sugar, cinnamon, grated lemon rind, or chopped figs. Place in a baking dish, cover, and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Serve with hot biscuits and a green salad.