I've mentioned the cherry tree (yay), the peach tree (more yay), and the pear tree (oh, sigh). Did I mention the apple trees? Planted a few years ago in our front yard, and this year all of a sudden hanging heavy with apples.
My stepdaughters were back in town right about the time I realized that -- even though it was early September -- the apples were getting ripe and it was either the bugs or me that was going to get them. I Tom-Sawyered my step-daughters and their girl friends: You know how much fun it is to go apple picking? "Oh, YEAH!", they responded. "I remember when we did that once. That was fun!" Wanna do it again right now?
It was a selfie-kind of apple picking spree, with lots of posing amidst the picking, but fifteen minutes and ten gallons of apples later, the trees were bare and the apples had been safely removed from the threat of evil flying worms.
More Tom Sawyer-ing ensued; I called a gal who had just moved into the neighborhood. You know how you said you wanted to learn to can applesauce? Are you free . . . tomorrow? She was.
Applesauce is one of the most delightfully easy (and, if you like, sociable) foods to make.
- Put about a half-inch of water in the bottom of a pan or crockpot -- not a lot, just enough to keep the apples from sticking.
- Cut up the apples, possibly removing the seeds and core. Leaving the skins on is perfectly okay in my book.
- Play a game with Miser-Dog: try to drop the apple cores on the floor, while he tries to catch them and wolf them down before they land. (Shhhh! Don't tell him that dogs don't like apples!)
- Heat the apples until they're mushy, and then mush them.
If it takes a whole village to make the applesauce -- family to pick them, dogs to clean up the scraps, friends to help cut and can them -- well, it makes sense that the whole village gets to eat the applesauce, too. We've had fun sharing the apples around. And we're all eating apple-y ever after.