Friday, November 03, 2006

Apples to Applesauce

Last week I spent a couple of days making applesauce. It was time consuming but I have to say that the applesauce is so yummy it was worth the effort! If you haven't ever tried homemade applesauce, trust me when I say it is nothing like the bland stuff you buy in the grocery store.
I got a whole bushel of Jonathan apples imported all the way from Keeokuk, NH. My sister lent me her special apple peeling/coring/slicing doohickey. I'm normally not much of a gadget person, I'm more of a "make due with what you have" type of person. This tool is such a timesaver however, I highly recommend it if you want to be able to process a lot of apples because it saves so much time.
Jonathan apples are quite tart, and I didn't really add that much sugar to the applesauce so you can still really taste the tartness. I also made it a little chunky, and used a little bit of cinnamon, allspice and cloves. When I eat this applesauce I feel like I am eating an apple pie! It's pretty easy, just prepare the apples and add some water and the spices and some sugar and let it cook down for a good long time until it is as soft and smooth or chunky as you like.
I really like canning my own food. I usually make quite a bit of jam every year too. I just think it is so much better than what you can buy. Earlier this year, I went to Haymarket in Boston to get strawberries for jam. I found them for 50 cents a pound and got 30 pounds of strawberries, and made about 20 quarts of jam! Towards the end of the summer I made peach. I love to open up the cupboard and see all of those jars lined up. I love the idea of keeping in touch with nature and the seasons and storing up food for the winter. I like certain homemaking activities because they cause you to slow down and enjoy the process, and be pleased with the results of your hard work. Even though I know I can go to the grocery store and get pretty much whatever I need anytime, I really like to be thrifty and self-sufficient when I can be. As my jars boil away on the stove, I like to think of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers doing the same things for their families to get ready for winter. We've spent a lot of time at our house this fall watching the squirrels in our yard doing the same!
Happy harvest season to you.


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Nettie said...

Your post makes me miss my parents orchard! They used to give me their excess cherries, pears, apples and grapes every fall. It's true there is nothing like homecanned produce!

At least I got the berries still...