Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Applesauce, Made with Love

It was a lazy afternoon and the rain was falling. Burst of drops drilled at my living room window in gusts as stormy weather blew outside. A nearby tree swayed in the wind. I looked outside and then looked back inside and saw my ten pound box of apples staring me in the eyes and if each apple in that box had a pair they surely would of said something. So, I decide to make some applesauce and boy did I.

I picked up the apples in Yakima the other weekend. They were purchased at a roadside produce stand. And since it was near the end of the season, I was able to get an amazing price on a box of last season's apples. They tasted sweet and juicy so I packed them into the car at twenty-five cents a pound. Those galas made me a lot of applesauce, the hard way. So, first lesson. Buy a food mill. I've used one in the past, but I just don't make enough applesauce to have one of my own until now! Food mills allow you to core the apples and slice them without removing the peels. Nope, I did it the hard way. I peeled each apple by hand. One by one, I started with the biggest apples to make me feel like I was making some progress. I peeled and peeled until my pot was full. Lesson two, have a big metal pot on hand. I had to use a cooking pot that I usually make soup in, so I was unable to cut up all the apples and cook them at once. But I kept peeling and cooking. Once the apples in the pot were tender and juicy I strained them to remove the cooking liquid (which I reserved and now have a wonderful quart of sweet apple juice). Lesson three, use a food processor. And jump for joy! I actually have the supplies for that step, so I added the cooked apples to the food processor with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and a small ladle of the reserved apple juice. And while I blended I cooked more apples. One mason jar full. One ten pound box of apples half full! I continued to peel, cook, blend, pour. Peel, cook, blend, and pour. Until only the smallest of the apples were left. And that is where I stopped. I couldn't peel any longer. Five small apples. I'll eat them for lunch! I looked at my hand, my fingers dented nails trimmed (luckily not in the sauce!) and I stopped battered but happy with six quarts of sweet, homemade applesauce.

Of course I will be sharing one with my Dad, Boyfriend, and Grandma, but hey, three quarts just for me! I'm thinking some applesauce cake is in order with some cardamon honey whipped cream on top. Lucky to those who get to spend Thanksgiving with me! And to end well, I was at lunch today telling a coworker of my applesauce making adventure and my peeling and cooking and blending and pouring and she looked at me and said, well for all that work it sure is nice to be able to buy applesauce right off the shelf. And to her I replied, this applesauce was made with love and they don't sell jars like that at the grocery store.

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