Sunday, October 21, 2012

Applesauce Season!

I must say, I love my day job!  I also love creating things for my Etsy shop as well, but there are just some weeks that I am reminded how much I truly love being an elementary school librarian.  Last week was one of those weeks.

I shared the book, Applesauce Season with my fourth graders last week.  I love this time of year and all the  memories it brings back of  harvest time as a young child.  I remember the bounty from our own garden and how much fun it was to pick all the vegetables and prepare them for canning and freezing.  But one of my fondest memories is applesauce-and-apple-butter season!  I loved sharing the book and tying in family traditions and seasonal celebrations in a nice perfect package with yummy applesauce as a bow on top.  It gave me the opportunity to share with my students some of my memories as a kiddo when all of my cousins would meet at my aunt's house to pick apples.  We would then proceed to my other aunt's house to take turns stirring the big cauldron of simmering apples.  We all played a vital role in turning out the season's perfect apple sauce and apple butter.  There are some books that just transport you back to another time in your life.   This books does just that for me.

Of course, at the end of the week, I had to make sure to cook up some applesauce just for us as well.  We have amazing farmers' markets in our area and I am always keen on buying an extra apple or two, just to watch them ripen to the perfect "applesauce" apple.  All week long, as I read the book, I couldn't wait for the weekend to arrive so I could whip up a batch of fresh applesauce for my youngest kiddo, Patrick...the only one still at home in the nest.  He loves apples. He has an organic gala apple every day in his lunch.  I just knew he would be happy to come downstairs to simmering applesauce on the stove for breakfast.  I took some pictures along the way to share.....I can almost smell the "long gone" applesauce as I post the pictures here for you to see.

Here is about half the batch of apples I used for the applesauce.
(I forgot to take a picture of the full amount!)
I love using our simple apple corer/slicer.  I just peel the slices after they have gone through.  I then simmer the apples with a bit of cider for a good while.  When they have simmered for a bit....

I add the brown sugar and cinnamon...not too much, but just enough to give it that special autumnal flavor.  I put almost as much cinnamon as sugar!
I then mash the apples with my grandmother's old potato masher.  I do think it's one of my most prized kitchen possessions!


Patrick and I are both vegan so we no longer add butter (I miss it so much) to our dishes.  But I did find a worthy substitute in this Earth Balance spread.  Don't use too much butter (or spread) ~ half a teaspoon for the entire batch is plenty.

The end result was perfect.  Patrick just finished off the leftovers tonight.  It was the first thing he had Saturday morning and the last thing he had Sunday night! 
Yum ~ Yum
We love applesauce!!