Thursday, August 7, 2014

Not fall yet, but...

A coworker of Caleb's has apple trees that are already bursting with fruit.  He was so thoughtful to bring a huge bin full of them for us.  He did this for us last year too. 

Applesauce is so easy to make.  Just cut up the apples and add to a large stock pot with a little water and cook on low until the apples super soft.  Run the cooked apples through a strainer.  I have a Roma.   I also have attachments for the KitchenAid.  Either way works.

It is one of the things I can a lot of because it is so versatile.  We often eat applesauce as a side dish with supper, but did you know that it can be used as an oil replacement in recipes?  Did you also know that it can be used to replace eggs?  {Though don't try to replace both oil and eggs in the same recipe!}

I think the best applesauce is made with a variety of apples.  It yields a sweet/tart, flavorful result and usually requires absolutely no sweetener.  Since apples are on the "Dirty Dozen" list, I always find an organic - or at least not sprayed - source.}
*Here is a little trick I learned.  If I find that the apples I have are a tart variety, I add a few pears when cooking the apples to add some natural sweetness. 

Free apples are always a blessing, but the timing of this gift was perfect.  The last couple of days have been cooler making canning a lot more pleasant, and we had free time to process them.  The thing with apples is that they come in the fall ~ just as we are getting into a rhythm with school.  Sometimes I have so many apples all at once that it becomes a week long project, which often makes it difficult to not get behind with school plans. 
I've finally gotten smart about it, and I plan in a couple of canning days.  As a friend used to say, "That's the beauty of homeschooling."

There is an ever-so-slight hint of fall in the air.  The tree leaves aren't turning yet, but the angle of the sun is changing.  I love fall, but we are going to eke out every drop of summer... at least until we turn the calendar page.

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