Tuesday, January 27, 2015
While late January is always one of my favourite times of year- the promise of Spring is a faint yet persistent whisper in my ear- it does come with a modicum of sadness. You see every fall for the past few years my Father In Law has procured several boxes of apples for our little family from his friend the orchardist- I wrote about our apple picking adventure here a few years ago. This time of year- each time I reach into the wooden box out on our deck I can't help but notice the dwindling number of Okanagan goodness- yes it's true we are running out of apples!
We are so spoiled by these crisp juicy delights- even in the "deep" of winter one can taste the Summer sunshine- if you close your eyes and stand in front of a heater while biting into one of these apples you will surely be transported back in time. Our family feasts liberally- apple sauce being a constant on our table- sliced apples grace the lunch boxes daily- apple cake is gobbled up regularly.
Apple sauce is quite frankly the easiest ting on earth to make- why people buy it at the store has always confounded me- so I thought today I would share one of our family's favourite treats! Like I said it's ever so easy- all you need is about five apples and some cinnamon- OK well I also add in nutmeg and ginger- so yummy!
To make apple sauce gather together your ingredients-5-6 apples- cinnamon- nutmeg- ginger- as well as a large sauce pot and about a half a cup of water. Peel apples and dice them into generally even cubes- about and inch square- throw diced apples and a few healthy shakes of spices- about a teaspoon combined- into the sauce pot along with the half cup of water. Place covered on stove at medium heat- cook for about twenty minutes- carefully test firmness of apples with a fork- once mushy the mixture is ready. Remove from stove and allow to cool- with a potato masher gently mash the cooked apples into sauce. We like ours a little chunky so I don't tend to over mash it.
If you are making apple sauce for a new eater you can omit the spices and also run the sauce through a sieve for a more consistent texture
On a chilly afternoon after school nothing is better than walking in the door to simmering apple sauce- trust me when I say your home will smell amazing! Just a hint because the apples will be pealed- appearance is not all that important- ask your grocer for seconds or damaged apples- fruit that is past it's peak is perfect for this dish- be sure to ask for a discount! Enjoy!
PS- while I know apple sauce is such a basic thing I find it really is an underrated snack- perfect as a topping on oatmeal or all on it's own. When we make foods like this from scratch we eliminate the middle man- we eliminate the plastic lining on a metal lid going into a landfill from a store bought jar- we eliminate in fact the use of a new jar all together- the energy that went into producing the packaging. The simple act of making apple sauce in fact has multiple benefits to the planet! Be sure to take a re-usable produce bag when purchasing your apples- try to compost your peels or use them for apple cider vinegar! All the small steps we take towards living plastic free really do add up!